Detroit Lions’ Christian Jones a ‘sponge’ soaking up new defense

Christian Jones warms up during training camp in Allen Park on Saturday. (Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)

Christian Jones will be the first to admit he doesn’t fully understand the Detroit Lions’ defense right now.

But the former Chicago Bears linebacker is adjusting and learning his new role in Matt Patricia’s defensive scheme.

“At the end of the day, it’s football,” Jones said Monday at Lions training camp in Allen Park. “You always have different techniques for different things, so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can and do as much as I can. I’m learning a lot. I’m just a sponge right now.”

Jones spent four seasons in Chicago before signing with the Lions this offseason. He started 31 games and racked up 260 total tackles. He’s expected to start alongside second year MLB Jarrad Davis after the departure of Tahir Whitehead.

So far, Jones appears to be fitting in.

“It’s going to be a good group,” said safety Glover Quinn about the linebackers. “Christian is going to fall right in there and it’ll be a good group. He’s going to have a lot of guys around him and his athletic ability is going to show. He’s going to be able to make a lot of plays for us.”

Jones has a tall task ahead of him, replacing Whitehead who started 55 of 93 games in six seasons in Detroit. Whitehead led the Lions in tackles last year with 110.

But Jones’ athletic ability should make for a nice piece in Patricia’s multiple defense. He has to learn it first.

“I feel like my progress is going pretty good right now, but I’m just trying to build on every day,” Jones said. “Obviously it’s a new defense, so I’m just trying to learn and soak up as much as I can.”

Jones feels once he and the entire linebacking core learn the new scheme, the Lions’ defense will be stout.

“It’s a good defense for us all,” Jones said. “We’ve got guys here that can do a lot of different things. We put a lot of time in the meeting room, and when we come back here, it’s expected to be right. We just take what we learn in the classroom and put it on the field. It’s good in this setting to get out on the field and get everybody out here and working together. That’s been going well. We just have to keep building on it.”

Jones has the potential to be a breakout player for the defense this season, but he knows he has a long ways to go. It’s training camp right now, Jones says. He’ll find out what he, and the defense, is made of Sept. 10 against the New York Jets.

“This is just a learning period for us all, and that’s the good thing about preseason,” Jones said. “We’re just trying to learn our techniques, fundamentals and obviously get comfortable with everybody out here.

“It’s not perfect, but we’re going in the right direction.”

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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