Looking Forward To Reggie Nelson’s Second Year
I went to the Jaguars’ website this morning to be greeted with a new opening home page. It shows a clip of Eli Manning holding up the Superbowl trophy and it then asks the question, “They believed then, who believes now?” with a montage of Jaguar clips set to dramatic music. I think it is pretty neat. It gets me back into the football groove after taking a break over the holiday weekend.
Now onto real football news:
I am a huge Gator fan as well as a Jaguar fan. It delights my soul to see the Jaguars keep drafting Florida players. Honestly, I am almost 100% certain that there are more Florida alumni on the Jaguars than any other college. It is a sore spot for some of the other college football fans in the stands (the Noles are pretty terrible so what do they expect?) but on Sunday that doesn’t matter much. After a few jokes about the Saturday games, we all become Jaguar fans.
To keep the trend of Florida players going, we will take a look at last years’ first round draft pick Reggie Nelson. I recently wrote a short piece on Mike Pete. He is well known to Jaguar fans as being one of the key components to the actual team element of the Jaguars. In helping Reggie, he was no different. He became a critical piece in helping Reggie come into his own on the Jaguars last year.
Last year, Reggie was a quiet guy. A little too quiet according to this Gainesville Sun article:
"Peterson said the sometimes soft-spoken Nelson didn’t always call out the secondary’s coverages, meaning Peterson had to do that for the front seven (as usual) and the defensive backs — a lot to ask when it is the offense in control of when the play starts."
However, Peterson sat him down and talked to him. A sort of mentor, if you will. He told Nelson how he needed to embrace his role of being a pro football player. With Peterson’s guidance, Nelson became comfortable. Over the course of the season, he got five interceptions (one of which insured a victory over Tampa Bay).
During this year’s organized team practices (OTAs), it looked like it certainly made a difference.
"“Things are a whole lot different now,” said Nelson, who is 5-foot-11, 198 pounds. “A whole lot different. I feel more in tune with everything that’s going on. It just took a little time on the field for me to get to that point.“Things are coming to me much easier having been around the league for a year.”"
Assuming that Rashean Mathis gets back into the swing of things this year, our secondary will be a force to behold. Hopefully this year’s first round draft pick (another Florida alumni) Derrick Harvey will rush the pass right into Mathis and Nelson’s hands. Man, wouldn’t that be something?