Green Bay Rushing Attack: A Tale Of Two Rookies

(JEFF HAYNES/AP IMAGES FOR PANINI)

A consistent run game from Green Bay would do Aaron Rodgers a world of good. Especially considering he’s coming off of a season where he broke his collarbone on his throwing arm. We got a good glimpse of what could be from two rookie running back’s last season in Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones.

Jones, 5’9″, 208 lbs. the rookie out of UTEP had 81 carries for 448 (5.5 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He played in 12 games and started four. In his four starts, he had 62 of his 81 carries, 346 of his 448 yards, averaged 86.5 yards per game, averaged 5.6 yards per carry, and scored three of his four touchdowns.

Jones showed the ability to not only find the hole but explode through it and finish off runs. Often, he would initiate contact with the defenders, bouncing off of them like a pinball. However, he wasn’t very impactful in the passing game. He only hauled in 9 catches for 22 yards for a measly 2.4 yards per catch.

Williams, 6’0″, 213 lbs. the rookie out of BYU had 153 carries for 556 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He played in 12 games and had seven starts. In his seven starts, he had 132 of his 153 carries, 492 of his 556 yards, averaged 70.3 yards per game, averaged 3.7 yards per carry, and scored three of his four touchdowns.

Williams is a bit bigger than Jones, a bit quicker too. Whereas Jones would often initiate contact, Williams uses his elusiveness to avoid defenders. Williams is a much better pass protector on passing downs, often sticking his nose right in the face of opposing blitzers to keep his quarterback safe. Aside from being the better pass protector, something the Packers valued about him coming out of college, he is the better receiver out of the backfield. Williams had 25 catches for 262 yards (10.5 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. He showed the ability to catch both the screen pass, with the ability to run after the catch, as well as the ability to stretch the field vertically out of the backfield.

Moving forward, Green Bay has a lot of decisions to make. Jones and Williams proved that the two of them can be a good backfield pairing complimenting each others strengths and weaknesses. That being said, Ty Montgomery getting injured early on last year is the reason these two even had a chance to play. Montgomery, a converted wide receiver, went into to training camp last year as the clear and obvious number one running back. Jones, Williams, and Montgomery will all enter training camp this year with something to prove.

 

Stats for this article provided by Packers.com

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