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Tyler Goodson kept up with the Joneses this offseason

Packers running back trained with Aaron Jones for a month in Miami


GREEN BAY – Tyler Goodson thought about it, talked about it, and thought about it some more.

The running back's rookie season with the Packers was drawing to a close, and after a year spent entirely on Green Bay's practice squad, the former Iowa standout was looking at different places to possibly train in preparation for a second bid at the 53-man roster in 2023.

Aaron Jones, the head of the Packers' running back table and team captain, caught wind of his teammate's search and invited Goodson to join him and his twin brother Alvin at Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami.

After starting his offseason in Atlanta, Goodson traveled to South Beach and, for the next month, became the Joneses' adopted younger brother.

"I just told him, give it a try. If you don't like it, you don't have to come back. Give it a week," Jones said. "He gave it a week and was like, 'Bro, I love it here.'"

Goodson followed the formula to a T. He was a model roommate and training partner. Jones felt as though the 22-year-old running back pushed him and Alvin as much as the Joneses pushed Goodson.

Whenever someone had suggestion, Goodson was always open to it. Knowing a part of Goodson's offseason plan was to get stronger, Alvin pushed the young running back to add a few pounds on his bench press.

Goodson stuck to the script from beginning to end. Even when Aaron flew out to New York for an appearance on "Good Morning Football," Goodson didn't use the Pro Bowl running back's absence as an excuse to take a day off. He kept working.

"It was fun having Tyler out there," Jones said. "I told him I think it's shown when he's stepped on the field that he has the talent. It's just a matter of opportunity.

"I told him his opportunity will come but just continue to work hard. He's somebody who can stay patient but know that, 'Hey I'm good enough. My time is gonna come.' It just hasn't come yet. He's going to be a special player – 100%."

In the process, Goodson felt like he rediscovered himself as an athlete. Prior to last year, the 5-foot-9, 197-pound running back had never stood on the sideline before. During his true freshman year in 2019, Goodson led Iowa with 638 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

He rushed for 1,913 yards and 13 touchdowns in 21 games over his final two seasons, including a first-team All-Big Ten selection during a COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. After going undrafted in April 2022, Goodson's only in-game opportunities came in the form of his 29 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown during three preseason appearances for Green Bay.

Goodson did his job and remained a good teammate and scout-team performer, but the wait was undeniably hard.

"I think the biggest lesson I learned last year was patience," Goodson said. "I wasn't used to sitting on the sideline, watching the team play and not being able to contribute to a win or contribute in general, so it was kind of hard for me.

"I pushed myself even harder, over the max, or I tried to – and I think that's where I kind of lost myself, my true self, and the player I am really. Once you try to overdo it, I think everything is going to fall out of place. The biggest thing I learned is patience – let everything come to me."

This spring, Goodson demonstrated a deeper understanding of the playbook, which led to the coaching staff feeling more comfortable utilizing his full skillset as a ball carrier and receiver. Jones even recalled a moment with Matt LaFleur at the beginning of the offseason program where the Packers' head coach remarked that Goodson looked stronger and thicker.

It's going to take everything to prevail in a tightly contested battle for Green Bay's No. 3 running back job. Patrick Taylor has been a core special-teamer the past two years while also carrying the ball 33 times for 120 yards and a touchdown in 23 games.

In April, the Packers also added Central Michigan's Lew Nichols in the seventh round. The 5-foot-10, 220-pound running back led the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision with 1,710 rushing yards during his MAC Offensive Player of the Year campaign in 2021.

That's fine by Goodson. He welcomes the competition in his pursuit of a spot on the 53.

"I think I'm on a good track right now and I'm very excited for the upcoming season," Goodson said. "I'm going to do everything I can to soak everything like a sponge and continue to work on my craft, so I can get on the 53.

"At the end of the day, that's the end goal. I'm not trying to be on the practice squad. The 53 is definitely the end goal."

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