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Jaire Alexander on playing in Green Bay: 'I love it there'

-- The accolades are just beginning to pile on for Jaire Alexander.

The Green Bay Packers' rookie cornerback was back in school on Tuesday, but not for reasons you might think: He was having his jersey retired.

Alexander was a dynamo at Rocky River high school in his home state of North Carolina, showcasing superb athletic ability both as a wide receiver and as a defensive back. According to Langston Wertz Jr. of the Charlotte Observer, Alexander's junior and senior seasons saw him accumulate 1,693 receiving yards, 26 touchdowns and 84 tackles.



#MintHill #Charlotte #RockyRiver r.i.p  beyond grateful 

A post shared by Jaire Alexander (@jairealexander) on

The pedigree formulated in his formative years helped pave the road to Louisville, where Alexander earned Second team All-ACC honors in 2016 and became an eventual first-round (No. 18) pick.

Alexander declared a year earlier after just three seasons at the collegiate level, but that evidently didn't hinder his performance in his rookie NFL campaign. Pro Football Focus tabbed Alexander as the league-leader amongst cornerbacks in contesting passes in his direction.

Not only was venturing to Green Bay a significant shift in the life and career of Alexander, but climate-wise, he's handled the change well.

"I love it there," Alexander said. The midwest has been struck with a complete polar freeze and negative temperatures whereas the high in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday was 76 degrees.

"It's sold out every game. We didn't have the season we wanted last year, but next year will be different. And it's different playing in Green Bay -- it's cold. Man, 50 degrees is warm to me now. My last day there, it was negative 6."

Alexander played in 13 games during his first season with the Packers, but sealed his first career interception in September and defended 10 passes, along with 66 tackles. He showed tenacity in blowing up plays and fearless, untapped aggression that the Packers have been lacking in their secondary.

While Alexander held up his own end of the bargain -- or tried to -- for most of the season, the Packers struggled on offense, finishing with a 6-9-1 record and failing to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Even with someone like Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Packers' success is far from guaranteed year by year. It takes players like Alexander to help shoulder the lead for when all three facets of the team aren't moving in unison, and that didn't happen in 2018.

Still, Alexander's rookie season benefited from having Rodgers in the locker room. He may play on the opposite side of the ball, but that's a perk that few players in the league can say they gain an advantage in.

"He's a cool guy," Alexander said. "You can learn a lot from him. He's a teacher, a leader. He has it all."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (25) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Packer Fan's picture

Finally a first round pick that should be really good. Haven't had that for years. About time.

HankScorpio's picture

Kenny Clark is their next most recent 1st round pick after Alexander. Clark is a star.

Prior to that it was a real collection of duds dating back to Bulaga in 2010.

Packerpasty's picture

Its Rodgers fault...whatever is wrong with the O or the D its now the cool thing to blame Rodgers...I bet he doesn't trust the CB's on this team...

Point Packer's picture

So true, Rodgers is also the reason why GB Special Teams sucked for the last decade. Nothing to do with old Mikey Mack choosing his buddies to be special teams coaches, as opposed to you know, experience, everything to do with the Rodgers not trusting the various special teams units.

Oppy's picture

There's other problems, sure.

But if you watched 2018 and didn't see problems with Rodgers, you're blind or you don't understand how Football is played.

HankScorpio's picture

I never thought I'd see the day that a very mild defense of Rodgers is greeted with a a response that includes "you're blind" and "don't understand". And it wasn't a Viking troll.

Am I on candid camera?

Skip greenBayless's picture

Congrats Hank, your day has finally come. I agree with Oppy by the way.


Guam's picture

Balanced commentary about AR seems to be a difficult objective on this site. Many of us agree with Oppy that AR has some issues (holds the ball too long, overlooks open underneath receivers, throws without setting his feet which compromises accuracy) but don't buy into the "DASH" commentary that AR is a core problem with the Packers.

I am very interested in next season just to see how much of the offense's problems were AR and how much was MM. Holding the ball too long and overlooking open underneath receivers may have been by MM's design and interest in 1 or 2 chunk plays per quarter or it could be AR's fault. I just don't know and it will take next season for me to get some clarity.

Despite the above, I think AR is a quality player and a good leader who is respected by his teammates and competitors. He is one of the Packers top players and should be given a chance under a new regime that will fix some faults that hopefully were MM's and not AR's.

Big Moe's picture

Agreed, he was not himself all season, whether that was him or Mike I am to far removed to tell, but he did not seem to be in the games mentally like normal, now was it because our patchwork O-line made him nervous and he was afraid of taking another knockout shot or just waiting for a reciever not named Adams to get open or just all of that together I couldn't say, but he certainly looked like the speed of the game finally caught up to him. Hoping for an excellent offseason as far as rebuilding this team Go Pack!

Tundraboy's picture

Excellent observation. I think the speed of the game is always there but when you lose your comfort level , like Rodgers undoubtedly has,knowing one or both of your sides are not so protected it's a totally different story.

fastmoving's picture

yeah, we know Rodgers has no faults. Not at all.

HankScorpio's picture

Both of these two things can be true at the same time: 1) Aaron Rodgers has flaws. 2) Some of the other 52 players have flaws.

Why does pointing out one negate the possibility of acknowledgement of the other in anyone's mind?

Oppy's picture

Did you read the original two posts in this sub-thread? It is clear the intent is 'anyone who thinks Rodgers had any blame is fooling themselves."

HankScorpio's picture

That is not at all clear to me. All I see is people pointing out that Rodgers doesn't play defense or ST. It has the benefit of being true.

edp1959's picture

And yet some come on here with the blame and trashing of Rodgers, but don't consider what would be if he had done the normal and carried this team on his back to the playoffs. We would still have the same ole for next year. Now we have something exciting to look forward to, he did what had to be done. Get over it.

Rossonero's picture

I must say I am alarmed at the number of former Packers who don't have anything nice to say about Rodgers. Among them include Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and now also KGB:

“When Aaron became ‘The Man,’ he was ‘The Man’, especially in his own eyes,” Gbaja-Biamila recently said, via Reischel.

“Let’s just put it that way. Things just changed. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to lie to you. It’s hard for me to say this without causing drama. . . . But I will say that between Brett [Favre] and Aaron — and I’m just being honest here so do what you want with this — with everything that Brett accomplished, you would think he’d be a little more arrogant, but he was actually more humble. And I felt that Aaron was a little bit more on the arrogant side.

“I would say from the time [Rodgers] arrived to the time he became a starter, I felt that he changed, and it wasn’t for the better.”

Jermichael Finley:

“He’s coachable to a point,” Finley said regarding Rodgers.

“Once you try to overcoach him, that’s when he’s going to do his own thing. With McCarthy, McCarthy used to call a play and Aaron would look at him and [then] it’s a whole different play. . . . And we just ran the play that No. 12 called. Sorry. And I think it’s going to be a lot worse with a young guy and with where Aaron’s at in his career. He’s an icon of the NFL.”

“[Y]ou just gave this guy $200 million,” Finley said. “It’s going to be very hard to coach a guy same age, his pay scale is up here and it’s going to be hard to tell Aaron what to do.”

Packmaniac's picture

Yep, Edp. Bingo. Last year got Ted out, this year Mac. A continuation of the status quo (Rodgers carrying em) would have kept Murphy doing his insufferable imitation of Rip Van Winkle.

BoCallahan's picture

BoCallahan on having Jaire Alexander playing for the Packers, “I love having you play for Green Bay!” Now, time to put the work in so that your current number will one day be retired.

Ladyt Dejesus's picture

Love jaire I knew this kid was special.

Nick Perry's picture

"I love it there," Alexander said.

And we love you Jarie.....NOW if Gutekunst can find another 5 or 6 of you in this next draft and/or in FA, one that plays TE, RG, SS, FS, WR, and a few who can play the edge and rush the QB...Well let the Lovefest continue!!

fastmoving's picture

I would say that we dont need a WR. we already have too much and really good ones too…..

ILPackerBacker's picture

The problem with the Rodgers debate is simple. When Rodgers does not play as the all time greatest QB then the trendy/fashionable people who like to think they are bit smarter and more observant than others like to come on and make up that he is taking sacks (when he had more sacks and and throw aways than can be believed), that he refuses underneath throws that are open (post a link)

The answer is Rodgers was 500 in the last couple of years.

Without Rodgers what was the record?

With Rodgers what was average scoring? Without?
How many shutouts in the last years with Rodgers?
there were THREE in ELEVEN GAMES without him.

Yet the problem for the lazy and trendy is Rodgers.

Rodgers played at a high level for a qb in 2018, not the greatest of all time.

That's the difference. The talent level is atrocious and highly over rated from the top OL crap (check facts not PFF) to the coaching which fell off a cliff on top of having trended down since 2014.

THREE SHUTOUTS in ELEVEN GAMES. That's the talent level. BH and Kizer are both closer to the normal nfl qb than Rodgers by a wide margin.

That is the dumpster fire.

Tundraboy's picture

Like this.

Rossonero's picture

I'm excited about Alexander's potential. You might remember that Bill Belichick praised him prior to us losing to New England this past season:

“This guy is a really good football player, and I think he’s got a great future in the league,” Belichick said.

“I think he’ll be one of the top corners in the game for quite a while here.”

“He’s a great kid. He’s got great energy,” Belichick said.

“He loves football and has great football skills; fast, athletic, good hands, good ball skills, can tackle, can play inside in the slot, can play outside on the perimeter, good zone vision, break on the ball, good man-to-man coverage, has good quickness, can match up with fast receivers, can match up with quick receivers.”

Ferrari Driver's picture

Mighty nice to have football players who seem to like the team, city, and the fans. I feel the same way and miss the area since I'm stuck in California.

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