Earlier today we started looking at Jones' new role for 2011, as a starting defensive end, and things look a bit different. Two takeaways from that game; he looked capable dropping into coverage and he wasn't nearly as effective rushing the passer lined up outside. The Houston game will provide the main chunk of the analysis for this post. We'll get right to it.
(For a quick summation of Jones through 2010, read the introduction of the Baltimore Ravens post.)
Week 3 2011 vs. Denver
Some bonus material; a good play and bad play from a zero tackle, two passes defensed performance.
First the bad. Jones is the backside defensive end and the Broncos use play action. Jones recognizes and lets the tight end go as he charges towards Orton. Orton raises up to throw and...
Yeah...pass incomplete. They call roughing the passer. Orton provided a pretty big target; tie usually goes to the quarterback, and maybe this was 'launching.' Jones wasn't happy with the call. I bet Orton was. He got obliterated by a helmet to the chin. Jones can pack a punch, no doubt.
This next play is very different than above, and one of my favorite plays from Jones.
We see him lined up on the inside shoulder of the tackle. Though I couldn't fully show the effect, Jones fakes in the B-Gap with his initial step and then works across the guard:
You see the guard is leaning just the slightest bit to the right because of the fake. Guard got beat, bad.
Jones going ins....why is the leg boxed?
Jones regains his balance...
Paw up, tip, no flag?...This ball gets intercepted! HA!
Week 7 2011 vs. Houston
Why this game? Because Houston has a strong running game behind a good offensive line. Also, they use their backs in the passing game and Arian Foster is a stud that will expose flaws in a defense. Plus, it's after the Titans' bye and we saw teams flat out of their bye in 2011.
On this first play notice how Jones, lined up in the C-gap, bulls back right tackle Eric Winston but then moves in to the tight ends blocking zone (they run a zone blocking scheme):
Jones gets locked up by the tight end, yet he's able to help push the play outside. The corner is forgotten about and he is there waiting to make the tackle.
The very next play there is no double team as the tight end is occupied. Jones blows Winston back, but can't shed as Winston takes Jones out of the play; Arian Foster cuts behind:
The point of showing these first two plays is to show Jones will get penetration, but also have some trouble versus Houston's run blocking.
Later in the first we see Jones standing up, something we saw a bit in Part III with mixed results. Jones will show, switch gaps and then go back to his original spot, which as you can see the center points out before Jones moves the first time:
Jones attacks the guard, then stunts around the slanting-inside end.
Here comes Jones, but notice the star; Foster had a bananas good game and deserves some recognition. Anyway, ...
Jones can't disrupt. So, a standup right side, inside to outside (looks A/B to C-gap) stunt. Something new to chew on...
Hmm...check this out...
The late-hit penalty is not called on Jones, but it sure looks like it's on Jones. Two personal fouls in the first half of the season is worth noting.
In the second quarter now, some Jones unsuccessfully rushing the passer from outside left end:
Tries to rip...
Here, he will see the play action and pursue:
He bursts through the line...below you'll see that star again. Oh no...
Jones' angle to Matt Schaub brings him a little bit wide and creates a throwing lane. Despite Jones' best effort...
This goes for a touchdown. Good effort by Jones, but better play by the offense. Also, Foster was reallllly open and notice the two Titans trailing the play...
We go inside two minutes and I love the contrast to Baltimore game; similar game situations, different usage of Jones. Here we see Jones rushing from a standup position on 1st and 2nd down, instead of dropping in coverage like in the Baltimore game. I did not know this was the case coming in. Let's take a look.
Here he's charging over center, and will rush the B-gap as the wide end stunts behind him:
He's able to shoot the gap, but overruns and gives Schaub a passing lane.
This next one is a bit different, as Jones is off the right foot of the defensive tackle, threatening the A-gap:
He has a running start and crosses the center. He then starts 1 on 1 with the right guard and goes for the rip move inside to the A-gap...
He gets pushed out of the way and Schaub steps up. He has to scramble. Time for some motorJonsin':
He chases all the way across the field, fellow defender in his way and all. Notice he flushed Schaub when rushing up the middle. To this point we haven't seen Jones standing up much and these plays show that he is somewhat capable. Also, now we've seen him rush a variety of gaps standing up. For the half as a whole, though, it hasn't been easy for him.
As Houston is up 20, the second half will show all plays against the run. To start, things don't get better for Jones. This is the Titans' second defensive play of the half:
Winston fakes at Jones and then releases; notice the arrow on the left side of the Houston line, as he will come backside and block Jones:
Jones is cut out of the play, which goes for 17. On the next play Jones doesn't fare so well either. Below is the third in a row:
Jones is driven yards downfield as Ben Tate gets another chunk, and the Texans score few plays later. As mentioned earlier, Jones had a rough going against the Texans' run game.
The final two plays hopefully will raise the mood a bit as we finish this part. This first play is the last play of the third quarter, and we see Jones making two strong efforts; the second after the first failed. Both hands are down, lined up on the inside shoulder of the tackle. This is a legit play:
Doh! A great effort, but Foster gets away. Jones will lose and re-gain his balance as he pursues the play...
Jones and Foster are on track to collide. Who will win this 4th down battle?
Jones and co. As we've seen throughout, the motor never stops. Plus, when the going gets tough he continues to play hard.
On the Texans' next series we see Jones tracking downfield, but this time against the run and not a screen pass like we've seen previously in 2010. Note Jones is the end of an over shifted front. Another note; Jones made a couple of plays like this earlier in the game, but I like the fact that they are down 20 and counting here:
Jones beats the tackle to the outside and closes down the backside...
...but he sees Ben Tate going off left tackle. Jones under-runs the play a little, but continues to go with it...
Jones helps take him to the ground.
Hopefully it's clear that Jones has a somewhat different role on defense than in prior years, and it's affecting his performance in both good and bad ways. He is rushing the passer differently and not having the same influence, but his skills, for a man his size, in the open field are increasingly on display. Furthermore, we are seeing more of what "versatility" means in Jones' case, as the hope is he'll be cast in the most effective role possible. Against the Ravens we saw him really flash in short zone coverage; here we learned more about his stand up rush game. On the whole, we are seeing the difference between Jones playing end and playing at tackle.
We will continue to learn more about his skill set as he faces Drew Brees and Cam Newton, two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the game, in the final two games of the analysis. More soon.