GREEN BAY, WI (KTSM) — Training camp is officially underway in Green Bay, and with all the drama surrounding quarterback Aaron Rodgers seemingly put to rest — at least for the time being — the Packers are back to focusing on winning a Super Bowl.
Running back Aaron Jones will play a big part in those aspirations, even more so than in years past. Jones is entering his fifth year in the league and is fresh off a pro bowl season in 2020, as well as a new contract that made him the sixth highest-paid running back in the NFL.
After rushing for 1,104 yards and nine touchdowns last season, Jones continues to push his body in his offseason workout programs back home in El Paso. The goal coming into this season for Jones was to position himself to become even more of a complete back.
“I cut out the sweets and replaced it with fruit,” said Jones. “It’s kind of the same things I’ve been doing years past, just staying consistent with it really helped and hitting two-a-days sometimes in the gym. I got my brother pushing me, so that definitely helps. Just trying to get to the best version of me.”
Jones has no doubt proved himself as an every-down back. He was fourth in the league in rushing yards last season despite ranking 10th in carries. He added 47 receptions for 355 yards and two touchdowns in 2020, and could be in for an even larger role this season with Jamaal Williams now playing for the Detroit Lions. But Jones knows he won’t be catching anyone by surprise.
“I do think teams will start covering me different,” said Jones. “I started to see it towards the middle of the season last year, they started putting corners on me and different things like that instead of the linebackers. But me and Coach Hackett, we work every day during the special teams’ period. We’re out running different things, how to get off the press coverage and those little things. I think he’s been instrumental in my growth as a receiver.”
AJ Dillon will backup Jones this season in Green Bay, but his role will likely be slightly different than what Williams brought to the table behind the starter. Especially when you consider Jones, Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, and Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook are the only three players in the NFL with more 2,000 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns the last two years.
An increase in workload is something Jones would welcome, and while the Packers need another big year from their reigning MVP quarterback, their Super Bowl hopes also hinge on the play of the Pro Bowl running back.
Madden 22 Rankings
Aaron Jones is the sixth-highest rated back in the Madden 22 video game with a 91 overall rating. Ahead of Jones in the Madden ratings are Christian McCaffrey (97 overall), Derrick Henry (96), Nick Chubb (96), Dalvin Cook (95), and Alvin Kamara (94). Jones is ahead of Saquon Barkley (90), Josh Jacobs (89), Ezekiel Elliott (88), and Joe Mixon (88).