In the off season the Raiders had the good fortune to sign Aaron Rodgers’ favourite target. When Green Bay released Jordy Nelson. Green Bay’s loss is our gain as we’ll get to watch him play against the Seahawks today.
When asked about the success that Jared Cook was having, Nelson replied, “I had got an experience a couple years ago to play with Jared in Green Bay and when we started getting on a roll there is when he came back off his injury and just the threat that he was able to give us – if it’s stretching the field down the middle, if it’s lining up one-on-one by himself either against a smaller DB or a safety or linebacker – so they can just create those match-ups and allow us to be more dynamic.”
Nelson, used to consistently being the number one target in Green Bay, also spoke about how he’s dealt with being part of an ensemble cast, “Just staying true to yourself. Making sure you’re prepared each and every week. As a receiver it can vary sometimes. You can only control what you can control. That’s just us going out there and running our routes to the best of ability to make sure that we’re prepared each week, we’re running the routes, we’re creating separation, and then obviously you let Derek do what he does. That’s what it is and it’s week in and week out, year in year out. I think he’s been playing well, he’s been making the plays when he gets the opportunities and he just needs to continue that and I think everything will be fine.”
Nelson went on to say that being on a team with multiple receiving threats, “Helps out drastically. I think it’s the same thing with Jared Cook and the more guys you can get out there, Martavis, even Seth, the speed that they bring to the field. It just puts more weapons out on the field, gives us more opportunities, gives Derek more options. Again I think that’s why it can be a week to week game on how you perform because there’s so many other guys that can step up. Martavis had a big game, Jared’s had huge games, I’ve had one, obviously Amari’s had a couple. You just don’t ever know when it’s going to be your week, when it’s going to be your play, so we got to go out and run and when the ball comes your way make the most out of that opportunity.”
Nelson had a big week in Miami, putting up 173 yards on 6 catches. I asked him if he thought that facing a Seattle defence that is lacking most of the big name players of the last few years could prompt another impressive performance he said, “I think people think that about this defence but it’s just because you don’t recognise the names that have been there in the past. They still have playmakers, they have some athletic guys that will make some plays. I had some experience against the the last couple of years. Obviously we look forward to the opportunity but it’s definitely not going to be something that we can make it easy”. “It’s going to be a battle. They’re a physical team, always will be. They fly to the ball, that’s what they hang their hat on and then they’ve got playmakers as well”.
Incidentally, Nelson was also quick to point out the foundations that the Raiders are laying for the future, much as Gruden had mentioned himself.
When Armani Cooper spoke he echoed the comments of Nelson and Carr, especially when discussing the weaker Seattle defence but did say that, “I think I can get open on anybody”.