The Detroit Lions took a gamble signing Jason Jones away from the Seattle Seahawks to play defensive end. Would the long time defensive tackle be able to be quick enough off the edge to make a difference taking over for Cliff Avril, Lawrence Jackson and others?
After mixed results early in the preseason, Jones finally showed up huge in one game against the New England Patriots, collecting two sacks, three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and one fumble recovery while roaming all over the field. It was arguably Jones's best career performance, considering his high water mark for sacks in a season is five and fumble recoveries is one.
Though Jones played explosively well against New England, fans should still temper their expectations for the season. In 2010, Jones played the most games of his career (15) and only collected 3.5 sacks. In Detroit's scheme at left defensive end, Jones may be able to have a bigger statistical impact, but based on his hot and cold career performances, that should not be immediately expected.
Jones, though, will have the freedom to pin his ears back and attack the quarterback this fall, which could lead to a bigger statistical impact than usual. The performance against the Patriots is a tantalizing glimpse of what could be this year, considering the new attacking scheme he'll be playing in. Jones, though, will have to stay healthy and prove he can last. He'll also have to show that last Thursday's performance wasn't a statistical anomaly.
Looking strictly at Jones's history and numbers, though, there seems to be reason for caution. Expecting him to have that dramatic of an impact right off the bat when games count is a stretch, given his typical career production.
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