The Green Bay Packers rotated through a trio of productive running backs in 2017 thanks to a variety of injuries, and they appear to have hit well on two of their rookie draft picks last season. Early in the season, third-year pro Ty Montgomery was a workhorse, rarely leaving the field until he was injured a few weeks in. 5th-round pick Aaron Jones ran away with the job for a few weeks, showing excellent speed and vision until being sidelined by an injury of his own. Then Jamaal Williams took over as a workhorse back, averaging 18 carries per game over the final eight contests.
All three backs have proven to be capable contributors in the passing game as well. Montgomery’s hands and route-running are obvious from his days as a wide receiver, while Jones counted those qualities as strengths of his in college. Meanwhile, Williams broke out as a receiver as a rookie, totaling an impressive 262 yards through the air and averaging more than 10 yards per reception.
For the Packers, it’s a good problem to have when there are more mouths to feed than carries to go around. Each player brings a different skill set to the table, a perfect situation to be in if the offensive coaching staff can adjust its game plan to attack the next opponent’s weaknesses. That’s something that the Patriots, with their variety of running backs, have done with great success over the years, so hopefully Mike McCarthy and company can get creative in their use of these players.
In today’s curds, we look at one of the backs’ surprises in 2017 and much more.
Packers RB Jamaal Williams effective on screens as a rookie | Packers Wire
Williams generated a passer rating of 149.6 on screen passes last year, but much of that came on a 54-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown that he had against the Steelers.
The fate of the Tonawanda Kardex | Packers.com
The Packers weren't always located in football's smallest city; Tonawanda, New York was smaller when the Kardex and Packers were given entry into the APFA, which became the NFL.
Packers may revamp right side of offensive line in attempt to get younger | ESPN
Right guard appears to be a spot that will get drastically younger, as 34-year-old Jahri Evans may not return; in that case, Justin McCray (26 when the season begins) or Lucas Patrick (25) are the likely candidates for the job. Meanwhile, right tackle remains a question mark thanks to Bryan Bulaga’s injury.
Packers learn a lot from Titletown District’s first winter | Packersnews.com
The development saw its first winter season with the open tubing hill and ice-skating rink, drawing over 60,000 visitors. It’s a good baseline to work from as the team plans additional developments in the area in the future.
Cardinals, Bears to begin offseason workouts Tuesday - NFL.com
Since the two teams have new head coaches, they'll begin their workouts two weeks before the rest of the NFL.
Pat McAfee’s dad pulling off the best ‘Jenga’ move will keep you on the edge of your seat - SBNation.com
This is far and away the most impressive pull I have ever seen.