James Jones explains breakout for Green Bay Packers
- By Dan Hanzus
- Around the League Writer
- Updated: Dec. 8, 2012 at 10:50 p.m.
Last season, wide receiver Jordy Nelson emerged as a top playmaker for the Green Bay Packers. This season, it's James Jones, who has nine touchdown receptions and is on his way to career highs in almost every statistical category.
Jones spoke with NFL.com's Michelle Beisner ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Detroit Lions, explaining the reason for his breakthrough at age 28.
"I'm a lot more focused this year," Jones told Beisner in a phone conversation. "It kind of made me mad when everyone was saying, 'Jones can't catch the ball.' Which is fine. It was deserved. I did drop some crucial balls, so I can't get mad (at them) for saying that.
"But I worked really hard this season. I went to a new facility that I trained at in California. Worked on some new, crazy stuff. Different kind of training. Running. UFC type of stuff. Mentally got myself ready. I'm just a lot more focused."
One unique method for pumping himself up on gameday has drawn the attention of opponents.
"During the game, I'm out there talking to myself saying things like, 'Stay focused. Stay hungry. The ball's gonna come. Aaron's gonna throw it to the open guy,'" Jones said. "A lot of the players think I'm crazy.
"I remember Jabari Greer of the Saints walked by me and I was talking to myself saying, 'Stay open.' He was like, "Hey man, you all right?" I told him, 'Yeah man, I'm good. Just staying focused.' "