Aaron Jones Speaks w/ Cheesehead TV on Youth Football Camp and 2022 Season

In an exclusive interview with Cheesehead TV, Aaron Jones discusses his second annual youth football camp, which was held in Green Bay, as well as the upcoming season.

Aaron Jones was back in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a few weeks before training camp begins, to host his second annual ‘Aaron Jones youth football camp,’ which Cheesehead TV was proud to partner with again, along with ProCamps.

The camp includes tips, drills, contests, non-contact games, and hands-on instruction from Jones himself as well as area high school and college coaches. 

Whether it be through the A&A All the Way foundation, these youth football camps, or other endeavors, giving back to his communities as well as the fans is important to Jones. 

"This community has taken me in as family since I first got here, and I'm a family guy; that's what I'm all about, so people who support me, I want to support them--I'm nothing without these people who support me, so I just want to be a resource in the community for these kids. I know they're the ones buying my jerseys and the reasons I get up and play on Sundays and get going. They push me more than they know it, and it's just a way for me to say thank you to them."

From a football perspective, Jones has spent the offseason working on all facets of his game, making sure he remains a well-rounded back. This, of course, is an important element to playing running back in Matt LaFleur’s offense, as running backs are not only tasked with being ball carriers, but they are expected to contribute in the passing game and hold their own as blockers as well.

"Just a little bit of everything," said Jones when asked what he was focusing on this offseason. "Catching the ball, route running, open field--just a quick change of burst, change of direction. A little bit of everything, I just want to continue to evolve and be well rounded."

Part of building that well-rounded skill-set for Jones includes working on his route running. As a running back, when training camp and the preseason begins, as expected, much of his time is devoted to the responsibilities that come with being a running back. So Jones uses this time in the offseason to continue refining that aspect of his game. 

"I always take the well rounded approach, but every offseason, I'll put an emphasis on routes because you're not out there all the time working on it; you're doing your running back stuff, so I feel like that's the time that I can do it the most."

With the question marks at the receiver position this season without Davante Adams, anytime we are discussing the Packers’ passing attack, we have to mention Jones, who has finished second on the team in targets three consecutive seasons behind only Adams. Jones has also recorded at least 350 receiving yards each season along with 11 total touchdowns, including six this past season. 

It very well could vary week to week how involved Jones is in the passing game, depending on what the opposing defense is doing. But if called upon for a larger role as a pass-catcher this season, Jones is ready and would love the opportunity. 

"I would love to, if the opportunity comes my way, take it and run with it and do everything I can to get in that end zone and make big plays--be a playmaker. Definitely getting the ball in space and I feel like me in space is dangerous."

One adjustment that we could see this season is the potential that we could see more of Jones and AJ Dillon on the field together in 2022. Last season that happened on only 2% of the offensive snaps, according to Sharp Football, whereas in 2020, Jones and Jamaal Williams were on the field together 16% of the time. 

At the end of the day, NFL teams want to put the ball in their playmaker's hands, and right now, Jones and Dillon are the Packers’ playmakers. More two-running back sets out of the backfield or more opportunities for Jones to operate as a pass-catcher from the slot or out wide would get two of Green Bay’s more explosive players on the field while also helping to create that "illusion of complexity" that LaFleur often refers to. 

While Jones is certainly a fan of this idea, at this time, anyways, he doesn’t know if that will be the case—or how often we could see it. 

"I can't say if there will be or won't--if you ask me, I would love that. Any time, both of us are advocates of having multiple backs on the field. Since me and Jamaal, we've asked 'put two backs in the game, Coach, call this personnel so we can all get in there,' we've even tried to get three backs in there at the same time. We like to see each other succeed, and we like to be on the field at the same time because we know we are going to lay it all out there for each other."

"This offense is ever-evolving," said Jones. "This is my fourth year in this offense, and everybody's roles continue to expand."

Without Adams, there are roughly 169 targets up for grabs this season — give or take — and we do not know how those will be distributed. On top of that, there will be more attention from the defense on receivers Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, and three rookie receivers who, in all likelihood, will experience ups and downs.

However, at the end of the day, this is still Matt LaFleur’s offense with Aaron Rodgers under center, there may be more opportunities for others, and unknowns around which receivers can provide that consistency and playmaking ability from week to week, but Jones doesn’t see the offense changing all that much. 

"I don't think too many; we got the same offense, same quarterback, same core guys, just because you lose one of your key receivers; I don't think that changes the playbook. So I don't see it changing too much."

During the seven games in the LaFleur era that the team has been without Adams due to injury, Jones has become the main focal point of the offense, including a massive 159-yard receiving performance against Kansas City in 2019. Whether or not that will be the case over a full 17-game season remains to be seen, but Jones will be ready either way.

"I haven't been told anything," Jones said in regards to being the focal point in the offense without Adams, "but I know whenever my number is called, I'm going to make the most of it, be a playmaker for my team, and do the most I can to do everything that I can to bring that win home."

Of course, we all know that there is no replacing Adams—instead, it is going to take a group effort to do so. 

LaFleur’s ability to scheme players into space and Rodgers playing at an elite level will be needed to elevate this receiver room. As already mentioned, there could be larger roles — both in the run and passing games — for Jones and Dillon—not to mention that a healthy offensive line could be the catalyst behind the Packers’ offensive success. 

While overall, the offensive line unit held up well with all of the injuries that resulted in seven different offensive line configurations last season, as expected, they weren’t as good as they were in 2020. There were fewer explosive running plays, Rodgers was pressured more often even though he got the ball out quicker on average, and tight ends were asked to help more in pass-blocking. Play-action also wasn’t as effective with the run game not as potent, and we saw fewer downfield attempts. 

The defense will also play a big role in mitigating Adams’ absence as well. From front to back, and among the starters, at least, there doesn’t appear to be a weak point in this unit. The defensive front is the deepest it’s been in years. While Rashan Gary and Preston Smith both finished top-10 in pressures last season as well. 

At linebacker will be Quay Walker and De’Vondre Campbell, two players well equipped to handle both the run and the pass, which will give the Packers the freedom to stay in their base defense more often—thus making it more difficult for offenses to decipher what is taking place. 

In the Green Bay secondary is arguably the best cornerback trio, along with Adrian Amos, an uber-reliable safety, and Darnell Savage, a potential breakout candidate. 

Recently on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers mentioned that this could be a “long training camp” for the offense going up against this defense every day in practice. However, he would also add that that isn’t a bad thing either, allowing the offense to get better by taking some lumps. 

When Jones was asked about his experience going up against this defense in minicamp, he would echo Rodgers' sentiments--mentioning how good this defensive group can be while also adding that playing against them throughout the summer will be a good thing for this offense. 

"They're definitely stacked; there's not a weak link on that defense. I'm excited to see them play, and I think that's going to make us better getting to play against them every day. Good verse good you make each other better, and when it's time to play against somebody else on Sunday, it'll be easy."

During the Aaron Rodgers era, it has been the offensive side of the ball that has garnered much of the attention each season--and understandably so. However, with the offensive line still trying to get healthy, Robert Tonyan working his way back from injury, and no Davante Adams at receiver, the normally robust offense has now been relegated to the role of underdog--which Jones is completely fine with. 

"I feel like people are definitely going to sleep on our offense losing Davante, but we definitely have a lot of weapons and guys who can get it done. So we are going to let them sleep, and when it's done, and the scoreboard says what it says, it will show what our offense did and our defense." 

Jones will be back in Green Bay in just a few short weeks for the beginning of training camp and not too long after that the preseason. As is always the case for the Packers, and as Jones would reiterate, the goal is to "bring the title back home."




Born and raised in Green Bay, WI and I still call it home. After my family, watching the Packers, sharing my opinions on the team through my writing and interacting with other fans is my greatest passion. You can find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl. 

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Comments (3)

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mrtundra's picture

July 08, 2022 at 07:50 am

If Aaron Jones ain't "Packer People," I don't know who is!

4 points
10ve 💚's picture

July 08, 2022 at 11:42 am

Dillon ain't so bad either.

0 points
jont's picture

July 08, 2022 at 12:35 pm

"I'm nothing without these people who support me."

Can't say that this supporter does anything notable, but it's pretty clear that the NFL as a whole would be in a much better place if more players said this out loud.

0 points