Packers' James Jones Makes Big Plays by Staying Focused & More NFC North News

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 21: Wide receiver James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers turns up the field after completing a reception during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 21, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
David Welker/Getty Images

It amazes me how much depth the Packers have at certain positions. Never is it more evident than with the wide receivers.

Just think about it. Greg Jennings was a find, then Jordy Nelson breaks out. Now you have Randall Cobb shaping up into a great receiver and, as Lori Nickel says in the Journal-Sentinel, James Jones is having a career year.

Jones is a guy we've watched for years, knowing he has the ability but not believing he could overcome the bad routes and the drops to reach his potential.

Yet here he is, a big factor in an offense that has had players like Jennings and Nelson go down to injury.

This is the sort of situation where, in the past, it seemed as though Jones would shrink.

However, that's not the case in 2012. As Nickel discusses with Jones in her article, Jones has worked hard to remain focus. The wide receiver himself admits that in the past he'd be okay early and see a lot of balls, but go through lulls and then lose focus, resulting in dropped passes and missed opportunities.

He's talking to himself on the sideline, doing anything he can to keep his head in the game even when he isn't seeing passes.

Jones knows the team needs him, and frankly, he has to know that they could need him even more if (when) Jennings leaves in free agency.

If he wants to remain a big part of the offense, he needs to stay on point.

This year has been a turning point for him so far. He's doing everything he can to keep it up.

On to the rest of the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

I love hearing these stories. Brad Biggs of the Tribune says that while Brandon Marshall had been labeled a bad teammate in the past, he's done nothing but build the locker room up this year.

Biggs also says that the Bears have to start improving on first down.

ESPNChicago's Michael Wright widens the lens and talks about the overall struggles of the offense.


Detroit Lions

Anwar Richardson at says the Mike Thomas trade is another in a line of deadline deals that Martin Mayhew has made.

Richardson also says there is no significant damage in Louis Delmas' knee.

The offensive line has earned the respect of its opposition this year according to Dave Birkett of the Free Press.


Green Bay Packers

Zach Kruse says over at that the Packers have their work cut out for them coping with Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington on blitzes.

The Packers are taking it slow with Jordy Nelson's hamstring according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Press-Gazette.'s Jerry Bulone says the rumored Steven Jackson to Packers trade is not happening


Minnesota Vikings

Christian Ponder told Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN that for him to succeed he needs better execution.

The Star Tribune's Dan Wiederer charted the 12 three-and-out drives in the last two games.

Yahoo Sports' Matt Beardmore takes a look at the Vikings-Seahawks game.


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