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Packers' lead runner Jamaal Williams honing in on professionalism

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Packers' lead runner Jamaal Williams honing in on professionalism

-- Jamaal Williams is focused on being a consummate professional as he ventures into his second season.

It's this focus that could help the Green Bay Packers' presumed starting running back flourish. 

Despite fending off an ankle injury this past week -- suffered in the Packers' second preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- Williams remains as the primary tailback simply due to his well-rounded understanding of the position.

Every facet of his job, whether taking hand-offs, running routes out of the backfield, or most importantly, pass-blocking, Williams has stepped in and performed either adequately or above average -- enough to earn his spot.

"I feel like I just get better and better every year," Williams told of his abilities in pass protection. "It's just a love thing and an attitude thing."

Williams recalled his freshman year at BYU and holding such disdain for those duties. En route to almost 1,100 yards from scrimmage, it was still something he mastered and only perfected as he matured.

"Now it's just something I just love doing. It's something that gets me going before I run the ball, so it's really just a mind adjustment. You have to have the right mindset for it."

 The Packers have kept Williams away from an extensive workload so far through exhibition play, however, a sprained ankle could go a long way in keeping him sidelined for good during the Packers' final two preseason games.

Against the Tennesee Titans and Steelers combined, Williams has 18 yards on seven carries, as well as two catches with a receiving touchdown to his credit. But the only thing that matters is getting those starting reps under his belt.

"I always expect to play," Williams said. "I'm just trying to do what I can to make sure I can show the coaches and the trainers that I'm ready to go. If I'm not playing, there's nothing to it. Just keep working hard and showing I'm healthy and ready to go."

Williams was doing drills with a trainer off to the side of the Packers' practice on Monday, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Despite being limited, it's a promising sign of his progression.

Any professional at his craft -- as Williams would likely tell you -- knows not to rush anything. The same rule could apply in almost any area of expertise.

If the Packers opt to rest Williams until the September 9 season opener against the Chicago Bears knowing he's going to enter the season as their lead runner and with backup Aaron Jones suspended for the first two games, for the sake of avoiding possibly aggravating a sprained ankle, so be it.

"You just gotta be a professional, you just gotta stay strong. Keep that mental focus.

"Just seeing from all the veterans that I see here, just come in as early as you can, make sure that your body is ready to go. If you feel something, go get treatment. Do all the necessary things, because those are the things that are going to keep your body going. Your body is your money-maker in this league, so really, just keep working hard."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Since '61's picture

Great positive attitude! Love to see that from every player. Thanks, Since '61

Ryan Graham's picture

I was an advocate for Jamaal Williams coming out of BYU - he showed excellent vision and pretty good patience on tape along with nice pass protection. I'm not anti Aaron Jones, hes a talented runner. I do believe he would see more playing time in a different system. That said, in this system I see Williams as a better fit. Strong runner, soft hands, best pass pro RB on the team. Hes a better compliment to Ty and theres potential to see some two backfield sets with various motions from 88. Really excited to see how Williams grows in the coming years.

x24's picture

"Homing in" on professionalism.
You home in on a target, you "hone" a knife

Demon's picture

I just "honed " the cylinder on my Chrysler big block.

x24's picture


The TKstinator's picture

ET honed home.

Jersey Al's picture

While I probably would have used "homing in," I think "honing in" applies also.

Definition of "honing in:" to move toward or focus attention on an objective

x24's picture

I have no doubts that you would have used homing in! Beloved founder and great writer...

Demon's picture

I see potential in JM. I sure wish he had another gear though.

Althouugh Edgar Bennet and Dorsey Levens were never speed burners.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Jamaal Williams has a lot of potential. He has a great attitude. He will develop into a valuable asset to the Packers if he can remain healthy. I hope that Williams, Jones, and Monty can stay healthy and keep some pressure off of Rodgers by keeping other defenses off balance with their running back skills. And the OL stay healthy to protect Rodgers as well. I have faith the Packers can pull together and have a productive year. But it will take a total team effort, by both players and coaches to get it done.

Samson's picture

Jamaal Williams may very well be the Pack's most valuable RB in season 2018. --- I just can't see anyone else unseating him from playing the most snaps. (the rest may not even be NFL players)

That's the problem. -- He does not have a 2nd gear where 5 yard gains become 10 yards or more. -- He simply lacks the speed of a top-notch 1st string NFL RB.

He'll be a great BU RB after GB drafts an RB in round 1 --- 2019 draft. --- Gute's already eyeing that draft.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Gute isn't drafting a RB in round 1.

Be an OLB pass rusher and then OL, or possibly Safety.

PatrickGB's picture

And it’s lot like we spent a high draft pick either. I see a lot of teams draft RBs high.

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