We wrapped up 2009 in Part II, focusing on Jones' athleticism and versatility both rushing the passer and pursuing plays downfield. Now we begin 2010 when Jones has moved into the starting lineup as a defensive tackle. The focus in these two games will be on Jones' play against the run, some of his "growth" from 2009 to 2010 and we'll see some of the "extremes" in his play. Though he will struggle against the run at times, this part will show some of the plus plays he can make in that area. Sometimes bigger, faster and stronger wins the battle plain and simple. We know this front office looks for that on defense, always.
Also, there are some plays in here that should get you fired up for 2012. No doubt about it.
Week 2 2010 vs. Pittsburgh
Why this game? Because the mobile Dennis Dixon got the start, and Jones had the Steelers' number the previous seasons. In this game, he was statistically quiet.
However, right away, he makes an impact. The first non-special teams play of the game, lined up on the B-gap:
He shoots right through the A-gap and almost tips the pass.
This next play is meant to build on an observation noted in Part I; that when Jones comes off the ball high against the run, he can be beat by the single or double team. He looked a little stronger than in 2009, but here we see a double team get the better of him.
This leads to an explosive run.
Here is something new; he gets taken down by a cut block.
Notice how he was aware of the ball, a good sign obviously. The Titans don't recover, however.
As part of the reason I watched this game was to see how Jones handled the quick Dixon 1 on 1, I was at least satisfied to see the following play:
I would not want to be that lineman on Monday after being abused by Jones, who we are seeing has a consistent inside move with a rip or swim when attacking the A-gap...
Shucks. Well, at least we saw it happen. The good and the bad.
In the second quarter Jones handles a cut block better than the first time around:
Good balance as he uses his hands to keep his feet.
This next one speaks for itself in a "motorocious" kind of way. He loses off the ball but fights...
He slips underneath 71...
We see that 1.59 10 yard split as he finishes the play.
Remember the back to back stunts from the Jaguars game in '09? Well here is something similar, and even a bit different; a new level of versatility. Jones is standing up over the center.
And now he has both hands on the ground, pretty much on the center...
A strong, quick lateral burst off the snap by Jones helps clear the path for the Brandon Mebane shaped 3-tech (Tony Brown) to slant hard inside. Jones draws two defenders and creates the lane for Brown to knife towards the ball. I'd love to see that one in the playbook.
The next play; Jones is standing up over the center's right shoulder. He was unable to get pressure doing this earlier in the game...
Jones finishes the 3rd quarter strong with some run game penetration:
From this point forward he doesn't see the field much, or get much pressure.
We saw some new things in 2010 thus far, notably the inclusion of standing up over the center and more stunts. The examples of the cut blocks I think are interesting as we learn a bit about his balance and ability to absorb contact. We saw more motor, especially when he closed on the broken run. His ability to rush from left to right, attacking both A-gaps in a variety of ways and winning 1 on 1 matchups continues to stand out.
Bonus play from Week 4 2010 at Denver
Check this out; inside two minutes and needing to make something happen, Jones has a rough start to this play but the recovery is what stands out.
He finds the ball carrier and forces the fumble, but Denver recovers. Jones shows that when things go bad to start, his motor and length - and in this case, good awareness - can make up for it on occasion.
Week 5 2010 at Dallas
Why this game? A two sack performance in a rendezvous with Romo, but also because Dallas had a strong but aging offensive line.
This last game expands upon some of the things we've seen in the past three games. And for some reason, it provides examples that show the extremes as I mentioned earlier. Some really good and some really bad.
The first play of the game Jones beats former all-pro right guard Leonard Davis with that inside move, this time a strong rip:
The power off the snap and penetration was pretty darn good, but he kept his head down and ran himself out of the play.
A few plays later, we see something new in the repertoire and on the extreme good side. Jones shows some legit lateral movement, power and the ability to stay skinny. He starts lined up on the offensive tackle. Notice the wide split between the guard and center:
Instead of charging the B-gap, he crosses Davis' face and Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode can't help in the A-gap.
Romo had no chance. Impressive that Jones split two 2009 Pro Bowlers (Gurode went in 2010).
More Jones dominating Davis...
...leads to Jones on Jones action.
Even more Jones dominating Davis here. Notice how Jones lines up in the B-gap and then kicks inside, then gets Davis lunging as he makes a swim move to the outside, but then more impressive swims right over Marion Barber going inside and then gets the sack. Seriously, watch it if you didn't. It's awesome. An extremely dominant play. Davis misses a play or two after this.
And so just as dominant as Jones was early, he hits a very dry spell in the 2nd half. This is the first play of the 4th quarter. Jones tries an inside spin move...
Notice how his head is turned opposite the line of scrimmage and the center is looking his direction...
Yeah...not the best result. This goes for 31 to Jason Witten. As you've seen, Jones will get handled on occasion. Here we see Jones' length and leanness simply get the better of him, as he's a big target for the linemen as he spins.
Unfortunately, we're not done. Jones at 1-tech:
Gurode drives him way out of the play. Here, we truly see that when Jones loses off the line he can be a non-factor against the run.
One more to complete the trifecta:
Jones lines up on the nose and twists around the left defensive tackle, but the linemen are ready for the move. This play goes to Roy Williams for 27.
The goal heading into highlighting these two games was to build on what we've seen. The Pittsburgh game introduced us to a new season, going more in-depth about his play against the run and also introduced a new wrinkle in the standup alignment. The Dallas game showed us a little bit of everything.
Another bonus play!!! This is one of my absolute favorite plays of his...
Week 7 2010 vs. Philadelphia
Jones is lined up in the A-gap, slanted towards the center.
His first step is towards the center, away from the guard. He's able to plant his foot and use his hand for leverage.
Good feet here, able to stay balanced and untangled as he drives upfield.
Those 37 inch arms...
When you think about the noise at home for Seattle - John Schneider said yesterday Jones was intrigued by playing with the advantage of the 12th man - the thought of Jones on the line with Clemons and co. becomes that much sweeter.
Not to mention the fact that we just saw him force a fumble, playing both north and south, in key situations. Schneider didn't say much about Jones on the radio, the only mention of him was after an 'oh, yeah, about him...' kind of question at the end of the interview. However, it's seems to me they believe this signing oozes upside. Schneider said his role would be as a "situational interior pass rusher," but as I've been alluding to from the start; the upside is that he's capable of being more than just a pass rusher. If he buys in here and gains an understanding of the scheme quickly, who knows. It's a 'show us what you can do and we are excited to see it happen' kind of deal. He can make plays like this and he'll do it with swag.
After the fumble above is recovered by the Titans but before the refs signal, Jeremy Maclin bothers Stephen Tulloch and then goes over to the pile. Jones wasn't a fan:
The signal is made and then yeah, he does pick on someone his own size.
It was never going anywhere with the refs all over, nothing malicious, why not? He just defended his goal line like a champ. Oh, the Titans were down nine at the time and came roaring back to win 37-19. Perhaps crack a smile, or a fist pump, but don't disturb your place of work or study. I think there is reason to be at least a little pumped that type of playmaking ability and attitude could be a difference maker on the defense in 2012.
Part IV will finish up 2010. Jones is scheduled to be on the radio today and I'm curious to hear if he talks about the scheme changes from 2010 to 2011 under new leadership. In the end of 2010 we see him begin to move around the line more, but in 2011 his role in the scheme had some notable differences (playing more at end and even on the right side, and his use inside at tackle was varied) than what we've seen thus far under Jim Washburn. Even though we haven't gotten there yet, I don't think it can hurt to begin thinking ahead about why Jones was moved in 2011, and why his production changed as a result. More soon.