In his first two NFL seasons, Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones has cracked the starting lineup for only one game and has had just 14 tackles and no sacks. But in his third season, the Ravens think they’re going to see a lot of Jones on the field.
“Art has played well,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “Art is not a surprise to me. He has done well. He can play both spots. He is going to play the defensive end spot and he is competing for the starting job there, and he is also going to play the 3-technique spot, which he would probably be the third man in that rotation. Versatile is huge. So he is going to play a lot of football regardless of where it ends up shaking out for the most part.”
When he hasn’t been at the Ravens’ facilities this offseason, Jones has been in New Mexico where his brother, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, does most of his training. Arthur is among the many NFL players who has found that some of the training concepts in mixed martial arts can be applied to football as well.
“I didn’t go home — I went straight to Albuquerque,” Jones said of his offseason. “My body was a lot more rested than the starters’, so I started running sand dunes two or three days after the season. My brother worked out three times a day having a boxing session, jujitsu and a lifting or swimming session. Some days I would spar with him, but I basically stuck with wrestling because I wrestled in high school. I did a lot of hands work, and it’s pretty similar to football as far as pass rushing, cutting guys off and getting angles.”
In April Jones’s other younger brother, Chandler, was a first-round draft pick of the Patriots. As a 2010 fifth-round pick, Arthur has been the least celebrated of the three Jones brothers, but he maintains that he’s still tougher than either of his younger siblings. And this is the year when he’s going to get an opportunity in Baltimore to show what he can do.