Packers' Aaron Jones on Clubhouse Live: 'Once you get going, that adrenaline kicks in'
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers rookie defensive lineman Kingsley Keke was Jones’ guest.
Among the topics they touched on were handling a heavy workload, offensive efficiency, offensive growth and defensive confidence. The show can be seen live at The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill in downtown Appleton or at clubhouselive.com.
Here are select and edited answers from the interview:
Q: You rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 23 carries in Sunday's victory over the Vikings. And you also finished with four catches for 34 yards. How's the body feeling today?
Jones: A little sore, but I could definitely do it again. Once you get going, that adrenaline kicks in. But definitely a little sore today. ... A great sore.
Q: Any concerns about handling the increased workload as the season goes on?
Jones: I definitely can (maintain that pace). I've trained my body for this, and it's something that I've wanted to become - to get the ball that many times and just become a workhorse like that. I've put in the time and the work, and I definitely feel like I can do it.
Q: Collectively, you got off to a much faster start against the Vikings than you did in Week 1 against the Bears, scoring touchdowns on your first three offensive possessions. Was that a point of emphasis by coach Matt LaFleur in the practices heading into the Vikings game?
Jones: He definitely emphasized that. We knew we couldn't come out and start like (we did against the Bears) again. Last week, we came out to a slow start. He emphasized it, and all week in practice we came out and practice was crisp. We came out fast like that in practice, and it just translated to the game. It put us in good position so we know, hey, you've got two weeks. One week you start bad and one week you start fast. So you see what it looks like when you start fast. You see what it looks like when you start slow. So now we know what it's always supposed to look like.
Q: Conversely, the offense was slowed and held scoreless over its final 11 possessions. What were the issues as you looked at the tape?
Jones: Just execution. Could be from one player. Those first three series, you see all 11 (players) on the same page, executing. And throughout the next couple series, it might be one player here, one player there and it'll affect a play. That's why you always have to be all 11 on the same page.
Q: While the offense is still a work in progress, do you feel like you took a substantial jump forward from Week 1 to Week 2?
Jones: I definitely think we did. We showed a lot of improvement, showed that we can move the ball and how the run game works with the play-action and how it all marries together.
Q: It seems like there's a swagger among the defensive players that hasn't been seen in Green Bay in a while. What kind of confidence have free agent guys like Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Adrian Amos brought to that side of the ball? What's the energy like within the defense right now?
Keke: Everyone is like alive. It's fun. Everyone's having a great time because everyone is dialed in to what they're doing. If you're prepared, you're ready to play and you're having fun. Everyone does a good job of getting into their playbooks, communicating well with each other. When you know what to expect, you're having fun.