Domino effect for Nelson

Rookie receiver Jordy Nelson increases his value on field, strength through game in locker room

In between pushups, rookie wide receiver Jordy Nelson has been getting a better grasp of the Green Bay Packers offense by getting as familiar as possible with all of the wide receiver positions.

Nelson, Green Bay's first selection of the 2008 NFL draft (36th overall), has performed well through the first week of training camp and will be pushing for a position in the regular rotation of receivers this season. Nelson also will be in the running to return punts or kickoffs when needed.

In the meantime, however, he's trying to hold his own on the practice field and in dominos, which the wide receivers play daily. No money is involved, just pride and pushups. The loser of each game owes the winner 10 pushups at anytime, anywhere and in any increments. However, if you're a rookie, like Nelson, you're subject to pushups at anytime, anywhere, by veteran Donald Driver.

"Jordy, give me 10," Driver ordered Nelson while he was in the middle of an interview by reporters the other day in the Packers locker room.

Nelson stopped talking immediately, dropped to the floor and clicked off 10 pushups before popping back up with a smile.

"I owe (Greg) Jennings, I think, 24 now and Driver is a vet, so he can tell me whatever, I guess," Nelson said, breathing somewhat hard.

"It's all fun. Just having some fun during training camp," he said.

Away from the dominos, Nelson has been making steady progress among the team's receivers. He will be pushing James Jones for the right to play behind Driver and Jennings this season.

"Jordy has really come into the spring and really picked things up and I really like the way he plays with his pads," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "He plays with a good pad level. He is fundamentally strong, particularly for a rookie. It is definitely not too big for him. I just look for him to continue to get comfortable and get the timing that he needs with the quarterbacks, but I think he is off to an excellent start."

After doing the pushups, Nelson took time to answer a few questions about his training camp experience thus far:

Q: A week into camp, how have things been going offensively?
Jordy Nelson:
"I'm getting there. We're installing stuff every day. We've installed some new things, so it gets a little more difficult. You just have to keep grinding on it and stay in the playbook till you're fully comfortable and know it all."

Q: Is there any time when you've felt overwhelmed at all? Is it getting more comfortable for you?
JN:
"I think it's pretty comfortable. We've installed the whole thing once already, so it's kind of the second time through for us, so that helps out a lot. There's more and more. You've just got to focus on it every day."

How many different spots are you playing on offense?
JN:
"I'm getting moved around. Personally, I'm trying to learn the whole playbook. I think that gives me a better shot to get on the field. The coaches have been moving me around from position to position as practice goes on, trying to get us all to learn the whole thing."

So you're going at three different spots?
JN:
"Three or four or five."

Are you overwhelmed at all?
JN:
"If you learn the whole play to begin with, it doesn't matter what the position is. You'll be able to figure it out. That's one reason why we're doing it, so you're not memorizing what the 'Z' does and nothing else. If you learn the whole concept and everything, you'll be fine."

How would you say Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn are acclimating to the offense?
JN:
"I think they've improved since the rookie minicamp and OTA (Organized Team Activities) practice. Obviously, Aaron (Rodgers) is a step ahead because he has been here three years and knows the system, so Brian and Matt just have to continue to work at it and they'll get there."

What do you like about Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn so far?
JN:
"They're in control. They're progressing. They're getting better every practice and you can see it."


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