Jamaal Williams finished as the Packers’ leading rusher last season with 556 yards. That doesn’t mean Williams was happy with his rookie season.
He averaged only 3.6 yards per carry, and, of his 153 carries, only five went for 12 yards or more, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, with a long run of 25 yards. His exit interviews with running backs coach Ben Sirmans and Mike McCarthy focused on Williams’ lack of explosive plays.
“We were just in agreement that I’ve got to get my feet quicker and just get a little more speed happening and make sure that my knees are up,” Williams told Demovsky. “So I’m just going to be working on my lateral movements, speed, make sure I get my knees up, make sure my lower body’s a lot stronger.”
Ty Montgomery returns next season after wrist surgery ended his 2017 season prematurely, and Aaron Jones is back for his second season after two knee injuries cost him four games. That means Williams will have competition for playing time as well as touches.
“When you’re in college, you’re used to like two guys — two superstars — on the team who get the ball consistently,” Williams said. “I liked [the competition] because it just shows that you’ve got to keep working hard, and every year there’s going to be a new batch coming in, so you’ve got to make sure you improve every offseason.”
Williams said he will begin his offseason work this week under the watchful eye of his uncle, Luke Neal, who is a trainer in the Phoenix area.