Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers defensive lineman Kenny Clark was Jones’ guest.
Among the topics they touched on were the improved running game, taking over the offensive burden, the offense's continued evolution, beating the Cowboys and the play of the defense. 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 107 yards and four touchdowns and finished with 182 total offensive yards in Sunday's victory over the Cowboys. You told us last week you thought the running game was "a work in progress" and "once it gets there, it's going to pop." Why did the running game "pop" against a pretty solid Dallas run defense?
Jones: Just the big guys up front. They were getting a lot of movement (and) opened up lanes for me. I could just pick and choose where I wanted to run, so it made it easy for me.
Q: Did you take it upon yourself to be the primary playmaker with wide receiver Davante Adams sidelined because of his turf toe injury?
Jones: No, I just went out there and played my game. We all knew all of us had to step up a little bit more, and I just did my 1/11th as we say. Everybody has a 1/11th to do out there, and I just did my 1/11th.
Q: How much more is still out there for the offense? How close are you to putting together a complete game on that side of the ball? Is there a lot more to accomplish?
Jones: I think there is a lot more. We've got a lot more big plays out there that we're not connecting on. You'll see. Once that gets going, it's going to be sweet. It's going to be nice.
Q: Is it fair to call Sunday's victory over Dallas - a Super Bowl contender entering the season - a statement win? Is there such a thing?
Jones: I definitely think it is, and there's definitely something such as a statement win. Any win you get in the National Football League is pretty much a statement win - 'Hey, I'm here, and I can play.' But when you're playing a 3-1 team, and we were also 3-1 - we had lost to a team the past week in the same division (as the Cowboys) - it definitely, I feel like, is a statement game. They were leading their division at the time.
Q: The defense has produced 11 takeaways and 15 sacks on the season, but it also ranks 22nd in the league in average yards allowed after surrendering 563 yards against the Cowboys. How would you assess the defensive play so far?
Clark: We played the Bears (in Week 1), and we had a real complete game. Minnesota, we let it get a little bit away from us. It's certain stuff that we're doing sometimes. We've had a lot of explosive plays on us, and I think that's what gets us. But we're competing every play. We're making it tough on the offenses. I just think we've got a lot of room to improve. And as long as we keep being opportunistic with the takeaways and keep doing that - sacking the quarterback. We're hitting the quarterback almost every time he drops back. So just keep doing what we're doing, fix our issues, fix some of the run issues we've got, and we're going to be a hard team to beat. Especially with our offense and how they play and giving them a short field. You give Aaron (Jones) and Aaron (Rodgers) a short field, there's going to be some bad things happening for that defense.