The Green Bay Packers continue to wait for a decision on Aaron Rodgers’ future to determine what their quarterback situation looks like in 2022. However, there are no questions about the running back room.
Speaking Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine, coach Matt LaFleur boasted about the versatility both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon bring to the offense.
“We’re fortunate, we’ve got two No. 1 backs,” LaFleur said. “They both offer a little bit something different. But the one thing I love about both of those guys is obviously they can run the football at a very high level, but just their contributions in the passing game. Whether it’s in protection, whether it’s receiving out of the backfield, whether it’s lining them out wide. I think both of those guys are very versatile, and that’s an important part to our offense.”
Jones has proven to be one of the most explosive backs in the NFL, netting 799 yards on 171 carries with four touchdowns in 15 games in 2021, adding 391 yards and six more scores on 52 catches. Dillion, meanwhile, became a force in his own right in Year 2, leading the Packers with 803 rushing yards with five TDs on 187 carries. As a receiver, Dillion also improved leaps and bounds, catching 34 of 37 targets for 313 yards and two scores (two catches for 21 yards in 2020).
LaFleur was asked Wednesday about getting Dillon more touches in the coming season.
“I thought we mixed him in a decent amount last year, but apparently not enough,” he quipped. “He is a premier back.”
At 6-foot, 247 pounds, Dillon proved a load for defenses to handle, particularly late in games churning out yards. Dillon’s 50 rushing first downs last season were most for a running back with fewer than 200 carries.
“Certainly, I think you felt the effects when we lost A.J. in that playoff game. We were missing a little something there,” LaFleur said of the injury in the Packers’ playoff loss to the 49ers. “So we’re super excited about both those guys and I think AJ is just kind of scratching the surface of what he can become.”
Regardless of who is under center in 2022, Green Bay will boast one of the top backfields in the NFL. There is no need to rank them No. 1 or No. 2. Rather, it’s 1A and 1AA for the Packers.
original source: Matt LaFleur: Packers have ‘two No. 1 backs’ in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon – NFL.com