The Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a great training staff that keeps players in shape and improving as the NFL season is in full effect. However, when players leave the team for the offseason, the players find different trainers to continue their development and growth. Packers running back Jamaal Williams and Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones, have trusted Luke Neal to push them each offseason to become more complete players on the field. In 2020, the hard work under Neal’s guidance is paying off.
Luke Neal has trained with Williams in the past, and after a few years apart, they are back together again and have picked up right where they left off. Once the season is over, Williams heads to Scottsdale, Arizona, to train in the blistering heat with fellow running back Ronald Jones. The two work agility drills, practice running routes, and run up the infamous “Thrill Hill.” The offseason program is brutal but needed to ensure they arrive at training camp in peak condition. The tough workouts have helped transform their bodies as well as their game. Williams arrived at offseason training at 17% body fat but arrived back in Green Bay with 7% body fat. These are the small adjustments that push players to the next level.
Working out in the offseason and trying to make improvements to your game is standard practice for every NFL player, but what sets players apart is translating your work onto the field. Luke Neal’s running backs have done just that this season. Ronald Jones became the Buccaneers starter in week eight in 2019. In the nine starts he had last season, Jones tallied 410 yards and averaged 4.18 yards per carry. In 2020, Jones has started 10 games and has produced at a much higher level. On the season, Jones has 730 yards on the ground and is averaging 5.10 yards per carry. He has been a workhorse for the Buccaneers and a critical part of the team holding a 7-3 record.
Jamaal Williams has also played an important role for the Green Bay Packers this season. LaFleur has praised him multiple times this season and refers to him as “1B” rather than a backup. Williams has provided the Packers with strong runs, receiving production, and protection for Aaron Rodgers. In the first nine games of the 2019 season, Williams recorded 291 yards on the ground, 166 yards receiving, and averaged 32.2 yards per game. In the eight games Williams suited up for in 2020, he has earned 324 yards rushing, 208 yards receiving, and averages 40.5 yards per game. Williams also started two games this season in Aaron Jones’ absence and had over 100 yards from scrimmage in both games. He also recorded a career-best 95 yards receiving in the Green Bay Packers’ week three matchup against the New Orlean Saints. The improvements from this offseason are showing up on the field for both of Neal’s players.
This coming offseason, Coach Neal will be working with Jamaal Williams and Ronald Jones again. They will be living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and embracing the heat as they trek up Thrill Hill yet again. Coach Neal is adding players to his team this offseason and when he announces the additions, teams should be excited to know that their athletes are going to make great improvements over the offseason. This is just the beginning of Luke Neal’s impact in the NFL, and as players see the improvements of their peers in the offseason, his impact will only grow.