It’s hard for a player to play 10 or more years in the NFL, let alone play for the same team for that long. It’s easy to imagine the connections you build during that time to be very strong, when you are around the same people day in and day out for a decade they become more like a family.
Friday night Jordy Nelson will be on the opposite side of the field against the team he was on for 10 years, and it is still chock full of friends from his time in Green Bay. With that in mind, you’d imagine there to be some strong emotions floating around for Nelson before his first game ever against the Packers.
Nelson says he is not emotional though as much as just looking forward to the fun of playing against them when asked about his feelings on Friday’s game. It’s not just the players he played with that will be fun to see again, it’s also the trainers and staff that worked closely with him for all those years that he is looking forward to seeing again.
“Emotionally, it won’t be a problem,” said Nelson before Monday’s practice. “It’ll be fun to see those guys, not only the players but the trainers, equipment staff, weight staff, all those guys I was with for ten years.
“Those are the guys you miss that you see day-to-day, that you don’t get to talk to as much as you’re used to. It’ll be fun to see them. It’s kind of enjoyable as a preseason game so we can have some fun and get in and get out.”
This is the type of answer that Packer fans are very used to seeing out of Jordy Nelson. He isn’t a guy that’s going to show his emotions, he is a dry guy with a steady mindset when it comes to his feelings. For those of you thinking he’d be all touchy-feely about playing his pals from Green Bay, that just isn’t the way Nelson is.
You can imagine how you will feel in a moment but the way you really feel might be different when that moment actually comes though. It will definitely be strange for Nelson to line up against the uniform he wore for so long, there is no way around that. It’s always weird for players when they play against their former team when they were on it for so long.
The other part of that in Nelson’s case is playing against a lot of people that he worked with. Green Bay has been one of the most consistent teams from year to year as far as their coaching and training staffs go. There will be many faces that Nelson knows on the other side of the field just from the consistency that the Packers have. Their coach, Mike McCarthy, is going on his 13th season as head coach and often avoids changing up his assistants. Nelson is excited to see everyone because he will know most of the Packers coaches and staff, obviously except for the people that are new to their team this season.
“Yeah, everyone except who came in as the new coaching staff,” Nelson said. “Like I said, that will be the cool thing. That’s even the same thing when I go back to K-State. A lot of the same staff there. Those are the people that, day-in and day-out do a lot of the things for us behind the scenes that don’t get any of the credit. Those are the ones you enjoy talking to and catching up with.”
It’ll be interesting to watch to see if the feelings are a little more intense for Nelson than he is anticipating though. He didn’t want to leave Green Bay to begin with, it was more so the team that wanted to move on from him. It’s too bad it’s a preseason game because it would really be interesting to see this match up in a game with more on the line.
Jordy Nelson has never really had a reason to feel slighted before, he was a high pick who had a great 10 years with the team that drafted him. Now is the first time he could really say he has a chip on his shoulder after the way Green Bay moved on from him.
He isn’t saying it, but it’s hard to believe he doesn’t have a little extra motivation in this one. This should be his first extended action for the Raiders after playing just one series in the first two preseason games and it’s coming against his former team. If anything was going to add some extra fuel to his fire this would be it.
Even if it is preseason this will be the true introduction of Nelson to Raider Nation, so it’s pretty cool that it’s also coming against his former team. There is some nice synergy in saying bye to the old team and hello to the new team’s fan base at the same time.
It’s the perfect combination for Nelson to hopefully show The Nation what he still has left in the tank. He is looking forward to this game as fun to see his former teammates and coaches, and what’s more fun than dominating the team that let you go? Hopefully that’s exactly what he does Friday against the Packers, it’s his chance to make them regret giving him up in the first place. That definitely sounds fun to me,