The offseason strength and conditioning program is well underway in Green Bay, giving Packers.com a chance to catch up with a few guys to get their thoughts on the past season, next season, and what they've been up to in between.
Taken in the third round of the 2007 draft, receiver James Jones impressed coaches and fans alike with his maturity, both on and off the field, as a rookie. Thrown into a starting role immediately, with Greg Jennings injured for the season's first two weeks, Jones turned in a strong rookie campaign, catching 47 passes for 676 yards and two touchdowns, including a memorable 79-yarder on Monday Night Football in Denver.
Here's what Jones had to say …
How does it feel to be back?
It feels good to be back. I wish it was a little warmer. I came from California, and it's about 80 degrees out there right now. So to come back to about 30 degrees, it ain't bad, but I'd rather be out there golfing or something. But it felt good to get back in and start working out and try to take the next step.
What have you been up to during the offseason?
I took about a month off and then worked out pretty hard. Treadmills, running up hills, pulling sleds, different types of cone drills and things like that. I hit it pretty good.
What's been the biggest highlight for you since the season ended?
I got engaged. I'm getting married July 19. I got engaged on Feb. 4.
I see you planned the wedding for right before training camp?
Yeah, get it out of the way.
If you had to grade yourself on your 2007 season, what grade would you give yourself?
I would say I did average. I would give myself a C. I'm a very hard critic of myself, and I felt like I left a lot of plays out there and could have played a lot better. So I'd say average. Coming to the NFL, you never really know what to expect, so for the first year I'd say I did average.
What do you think you need to do to improve on that?
Just mistakes. Run-blocking. I think I dropped too many balls this year. Even if it's five or six balls, that's too many. You definitely want to limit those. Just concentrate more. But I think now that you're getting into your second year, you understand the game, you understand how fast it's going, where players are coming from and things like that. I think I'll be a lot better off. I just need to improve on my game as a whole. Everything needs work.
What was your personal favorite moment of last season, on or off the field?
It would probably have to be my touchdown in Denver. Monday Night Football, you dream of playing on Monday Night Football, and to score a 79-yard touchdown on Monday night, that's one of the things that will stick in my mind from my rookie season. I wish we would have gone to the Super Bowl, that would have the big moment, but just to get to the playoffs as a rookie, the NFC Championship as a rookie, you can't ask for anything else.
What are you most looking forward to about 2008?
Super Bowl. Getting to a Super Bowl. You never know you're going to get to one no matter how young you are. Some guys are like, 'I'm young, I have a bunch of years to get to a Super Bowl.' I want to get to one now, because you never know when you'll get back. Just striving for a Super Bowl, and everything else will fall into place.
What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
A 1,000-yard season, 10 touchdowns. No, my main thing is improving on my game and making myself a better player. But stats wise, 1,000 yards.