The Facts: When Jones wasn’t busy earning his college degree this offseason, the second-year running back was a steady presence in the weight room. Once Jones returned for the start of the offseason program in April, the emphasis was obvious on the practice field. “I’m bigger all around,” Jones said.
Diehards Line:He added: “That’s something that’s going to help me in pass protection and that’s something I want to get better at. I’m stronger, so definitely when a defender who’s bigger than me comes up I can hold my ground this year. ...” Indeed, pass protection is a crucial component for Green Bay running backs blocking for two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It’s also the surest way to stay on the field with the Packers’ preference to stay in a no-huddle mode of offensive operation. While Jones is thicker in his lower body, neither he nor position coach Ben Sirmans feel the 5-9, 208-pound running back has lost any of the explosiveness that allowed Jones to average of 5.5 yards per carry on 81 attempts last season. Jones rushed for nearly 300 yards in a three-week stretch from Oct. 8 to Oct. 22 before injuring his knee against Chicago in Week 10. He missed two games, but returned in December. But just when it looked like Jones was getting back into a rhythm with three carries for 47 yards against Carolina, he then injured his other knee against Minnesota on Dec. 23 and sat out the season finale against Detroit. While some injuries cannot be avoided, Jones hopes the byproduct of his increased strength will help him avoid more preventable soft-tissue injuries.