this Aug. 12, 2016, file photo, Green Bay Packers defensive end
Datone Jones (95) celebrate a sack against the Cleveland Browns
in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Green
Bay, Wisc. Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers have a new face in
the Packers pass-rush rotation this preseason. Datone Jones is
getting good reviews so far in camp.
GREEN BAY — Running
back Eddie Lacy isn't the only Green Bay Packer who slimmed down in
While Lacy isn't
saying how many pounds he lost in his workouts with fitness expert
Tony Horton, a leaner Datone Jones has been forthcoming about his
Jones said he's shed
about 15 pounds since last season in the defensive lineman's
conversion to playing more at outside linebacker.
"I don't know
what Datone did over the break, but he dropped some more pounds,"
Winston Moss, the Packers' associate head coach/linebackers coach,
said this week.
Down to 284 pounds, a
lighter Jones is hoping to make a greater impact on Green Bay's
defense after three mostly unproductive seasons since the Packers
selected him in the first round of the 2013 draft.
His switch to what
the Green Bay coaches refer to as an elephant end gives the Packers'
pass-rush rotation led by Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers another
So far in training
camp, Jones is drawing good reviews in the hybrid role, which has him
standing up as a linebacker and also lining up inside on the defensive
"We wanted to
look at Datone rushing from the outside," defensive coordinator
Dom Capers said about the switch, a move that started the second half
of last season.
"He had been
primarily an inside player, an inside rusher," Capers added.
"We liked his size, his ability to be physical coming off the
edge. I thought you saw that show up Friday night."
Jones led the Packers
with two quarterback hits and had one of their four sacks in the
team's first preseason game, a 17-11 win over the Cleveland Browns.
"He got off to a
very good start, had some very good physical plays, had the
sack," Capers said.
Both Capers and Moss
said the 6-foot-4 Jones brings a three-dimensional skillset to the
field as a run stopper on the outside, a pass rusher from the outside
or inside and being able to drop into pass coverage.
NFL," Jones said. "You've got to be able to adjust to the
position change quick and be a very quick learner."
Jones has embraced
the full-time change going into this season, saying he's feeling more
comfortable with the added responsibilities at linebacker.
An abundance of
practice reps has eased the adjustment as well with the coaches
limiting the work in camp for Matthews and Peppers, whose expertise at
the position has been valuable for Jones.
Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, two future Hall of Famers to learn
from, that elevates our game even more," Jones said.
And the former high
draft pick out of UCLA knows what's at stake going into the final year
of his rookie contract.
Jones has started
only three games and has just 8½ sacks, including the playoffs.
"I know what
position I'm in," Jones said. "It's my contract year. I'm
not blind to that. I love playing football, and at the end of the day,
may the best man win. I'm out here competing. I have to go out and
show what I can do."
NOTES: QB Aaron
Rodgers isn't sure if he will play Thursday night against the Oakland
Raiders. Coach Mike McCarthy rested Rodgers in the game Friday and
said decisions on playing time won't be made until Wednesday. "If
I play, it won't be a whole lot, but I'm still waiting," Rodgers
said Monday. ... WR Jeff Janis had surgery for what he said was a
broken right index finger, an injury he suffered in practice last
week. The third-year pro was told his recovery timetable would be four
to six weeks. ... S Morgan Burnett (back) didn't practice for the
second straight day. Veteran guard Josh Sitton was rested Monday, and
third-round rookie LB Kyler Fackrell was out with an illness.
Sixth-round rookie OT Kyle Murphy practiced for the first time since
suffering a concussion Aug. 3.