Thursday, June 12, 2014
Will more power help Datone Jones?
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Datone Jones insists he's a strong defensive lineman.
But even the Green Bay Packers' second-year pro admits that when he turned on the film of himself from his rookie season, that's not what he saw.
"I came into the NFL trying to finesse offensive linemen," Jones said this week during OTAs. "And that's not going to work."
This season, Jones wants to be more like his defensive line mate, Mike Daniels.
Sure, he would like to triple his sack total from Year 1 to Year 2 like Daniels did last season, but that's not exactly what Jones meant.
Instead, Jones wants to use his power and strength like Daniels did so effectively as a pass-rusher last season, when he totaled 6.5 sacks after posting only two as a rookie in 2012.
"After last year, I had a chance to reevaluate my game," Jones said. "I noticed that I could have come with a lot more power because I'm a strong guy, and I was telling Mike that's one thing I need to keep doing is use my power more."
Although Jones managed 3.5 sacks last season, his rookie year was considered a disappointment largely because he showed so much promise early on. During the first two weeks of training camp, the first-round pick (No. 26 overall) looked nearly unblockable. But he sustained an ankle injury on his first snap of the preseason that slowed his progress.
He played just 24.2 percent of the defensive snaps despite appearing in all 17 games (including the playoffs).
He knows more is expected of him this season.
"I can guarantee you're going to see a different Datone Jones," he said.
In an effort to make that happen, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Jones not only worked on his strength this offseason but also his flexibility.
"You have to be able to bend," Jones said. "You can't be stiff. As a defensive lineman, it just doesn't work. You've got to have great hips, flexible hips."
Most of Jones' playing time last season came in obvious passing situations as one of two inside rushers. Often times, he was paired with Daniels, whose brute strength and leverage proved to be more effective than Jones' speed/finesse approach. To be sure, Daniels has a much different body type at 6-0 and 300 pounds, but Jones thinks he can match him power for power.
"I don't want to talk too much," Jones said. "But I'll just say that I'm going to make sure that my effort is always going and my motor is always going."