Christian Jones

Good read about Christian Jones, apparently he was better than I thought, mea culpa. Maybe our LB group ain’t as bad as I thought it was:

Jones was coming off a pretty poor year with the Chicago Bears, but with the Lions moving on from Tahir Whitehead, it was clear from the moment Detroit signed Jones to a two-year deal, he was headed for a starting role. The hope was Jones would thrive in a system that better fits his skill-set, but as someone that had been in and out of the starting lineup for the first four years of his career, it wasn’t exactly clear what his biggest strengths were.

Actual role in 2018
2018 stats: 16 games (16 starts): 69 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 3 passes defended, 1 forced fumble
PFF grade: 65.3 (43rd among linebackers)

For the first time in his career, Jones started all 16 games in a season. As a result, he had one of his most productive seasons ever. The early quality of his play on the field was inconclusive. At first, it seemed like he—along with a lot of other defenders on the squad—was still gaining his footing on the new defensive system. His PFF grade was downright awful, and the Lions linebackers were routinely giving up big plays both in the passing and running game. But there’s a clear point in the season in which everything seemed to click for Jones. It came right around the bye week. After that, Jones was one of the better linebackers in the league:

  • @PFF_Lions Is there anyway I can find out Christian Jones’ grade between weeks 5 to 17? He was at 40.6 after week 4, but his overall grade was 65.3, so he must’ve improved a lot. I would really appreciate it*

Jones grade from Weeks 5-17 was 74.3 overall, 20th by LB

His 80.4 run defense grade ranked 10th

And 78.3 tackling grade ranked 19th

Of course, that also happens to coincide with the addition of Damon Harrison Sr. Still, the way Jones finished the season was extremely promising, and gives the Lions some serious hope going into 2019—meaning they don’t have to rush rookie linebacker Tavai into the starting lineup.

The article goes on to say that if Jones plays as well as he did last year after week 4, he might well be too expensive for the Lions to keep. These days, you never know.

PS: Maybe the Lions better sign Harrison, I doubt that Jones is the only guy on our defense that got better after Snacks showed up. Some guys make everyone else around him better, and he appears to be one of those guys.

This is precisely why I suggested in December we re-work Harrison’s contract. I also knew how well Jones played. With the addition of Flowers and Coleman and Harris and Tavai this defense will improve. That is exactly why I am more curious about the OL/WR. I think they will be a top ten defense.

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Yep, I have posted on my concerns with re to OL/WR as well. They have the money to extend these guys,(Slay and Snacks), get it done. Draft a QB in the first next year, let Stafford walk in 2021 thru trade or cut and your cash just opened up big time.

What we really need to do is find in a QB that has an OL (no broken back would be nice as well) :wink:

Back to the topic -

Our D was absolute crapola the beginning of the season, and even factoring that in, we still finished 10th overall.

I believe with the offseason upgrades, and another year in the system, we will have a top 5 -ish (or higher) Defense this year.

Davis really seemed to improve as the season went on as well. With some luck with health, this defense has a chance to be very good. I’m still not sold on Tavai, but the new DBs are going to help a lot, and Flowers should be a massive upgrade form the part-time Ansah. Very important to get Snacks in asap. He really helps to keep the LBs clean.

Also, look for more turnovers this year. We will improve in turnover ratio. I also believe the kid from Clemson will surprise, especially given how solid the rest of the DL is, he won’t be getting as much attention. This is going to be fun.

IMO, the biggest part of our success will hinge on how well we run the ball. If we can manage to run well enough to make play action a viable thing, this could get really fun. Haven’t been this jazzed up for football season since Barry was playing.

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I was all for re-working Harrison until he went to the press. He doesn’t have to play, and we don’t have to pay him and we will still retain his NFL rights. Too bad you ran to the press. I have no doubt his agent (Slay’s, too.) is trying to strong arm the Lions. I want to be good, too, but these guys have proven themselves to be mercenaries which means they are not committed to the team, rather they are committed to themselves. To win we are going to have to work and sacrifice for it.

I think the Lions have a point, if you sign a contract then you oughta live up to it. If you sign a 4 year deal or whatever, and you get injured and can’t play then the team still has to pay you the agreed upon guaranteed amount. I don’t see many guys giving back any money when things go south and you aren’t worth your contracted value. As a player you are getting the security of guaranteed money that you and the team agreed to. You could’ve signed a 2-year deal instead, so you could become an FA sooner. But you didn’t, and that’s on you not them.

But the other side is that you might out-perform your contract and be worth more than what you’re being paid. So why didn’t you make sure the contract had incentives in it, or an early out clause under whatever circumstances? Sorry dudes, a deal is a deal that works both ways.

That said, Slay and Harrison are highly valuable players on this team. I don’t know what they’re asking for, hopefully they can work out an acceptable arrangement for both sides.