Reggie Nelson Re-Dedicates Himself After Lackluster 2008

Daniel ShanksAnalyst IJune 2, 2009

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 14:  Reggie Nelson #25 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after making an interception during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Municipal stadium on December 14, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Michael C. Wright of the Florida Times-Union recently wrote a story about Reggie Nelson and the fact that he was hard at work during the Memorial Day holiday.

If there was anyone who needed to put in some extra work following the 2008 season, it's definitely Reggie Nelson.

The player known as the "Eraser" might as well have been nicknamed "Toast" last season for all the times he got burnt in the secondary last year.

Wright points out the fact that there was a great deal of confusion on Nelson's part with Gregg Williams' new scheme. He also mentions the fact that Nelson battled a hip injury and a knee bruise.

While the injuries certainly played a role in Nelson's 2008 struggles, there was one part of Nelson's body that really held him back.

His mind.

When he was at Florida, Nelson could rely on his athletic ability. He didn't have to be in the right position because he had the speed and ball-hawking skills to get to the ball when it was in the air.

While he is still a tremendous athlete, the quarterbacks in the NFL are infinitely better than they were in the SEC. If Nelson is out of position, NFL QBs will make him pay like they did time and time again last season.

Hopefully, the addition of Mel Tucker along with Jack Del Rio's determination to be more involved with the defense will make things simpler for Nelson, who is entering his third year in the league.

Tucker's background is as a defensive backs coach. That experience should help Tucker relate the defense to Nelson from a DB's perspective.

It's clear that Nelson has a world of talent.

You don't pull down five interceptions as a rookie if you don't have some game.

But he has yet to reach his full potential.

If his football IQ can catch up to his physical acumen, then Nelson will become the dominant player the Jaguars thought he could be when they drafted him.

If he can't bring the mental game up to match his athletic ability, he will never realize his tremendous potential and will struggle through another season in 2009.


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