Packers youthful backfield eyes opportunity
GREEN BAY - One look at the Packers backfield during rookie orientation camp and the message was clear: Dress to impress and the opportunities will follow.
"Soon as I started warming up, I knew it was time to go," rookie running back Aaron Jones said.
"It gave all of the running backs here an opportunity to show out, and do what we can to get on the field," rookie running back Jamaal Williams said. "It gives us more leeway, opportunity to get on the field. I think it's an opportunity just to prove myself."
Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays were all members of the 2017 draft class. Now they're competing for carries behind incumbent Ty Montgomery.
Last week, head coach Mike McCarthy officially named the third-year tailback the starter heading into a new season.
"He's been doing a great job, just want to learn as much as I can from him," Williams said.
"We're young in the running back room with Ty Montgomery being the only guy, so they're going to need someone to step up," Jones said.
While it is a competition, the trio has taken the friend over foe approach. In fact, Williams and Jones share the same agent, which has created a bonded backfield heading towards training camp.
"We definitely want to see each other succeed, so it's a friendly competition," Jones said.
"Right now we're just learning everything as a group," rookie running back Devante Mays. "Jamaal is helping me, we're all just helping each other right now."
Make no doubt, these draft picks can play. The three combining for 32 rushing touchdown in Division 1 football last season.
With only 111 carries coming back between Montgomery and fullback Aaron Ripkowski, expect these rookies to leap once or twice here in 2017.
"Definitely a lot of talent, Jamaal is a great player, so is Mays, both of them can get after," Jones said. "It's going to raise the level up our game and help all of us."
It's certainly a conversation we'll continue to carry on about.