Lions’ Jones gets busy making impact in community

Al Willman
The Detroit News

Rochester Hills — Marvin Jones Jr. isn’t wasting any time getting acquainted with the community.

Two of his three sons — Marvin III, 7, and Mareon, 4 — were on the field at Rochester Adams High with their father and about 180 other kids taking part in the day-long football camp for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“It seemed like it was a great time for me to come and transition to the communities here and stuff like that,” the first-year Lions receiver said. “That’s pretty important, so it was a no-brainer.”

Jones’ other son, 1-year-old Murrell, was on the sidelines with Jones’ wife, Jazmyn.

He said getting involved in the community is something he enjoys.

“When I was back in Cincinnati, that’s what I did,” Jones said. “If we’re not at the stadium, we have time on our hands, so why not go into the community and get your face out there and stuff like that.”

And that involvement, he said, won’t stop with Friday’s camp.

“I live in Northville, so I’ll be at probably all the Northville High games,” he said. “I just like doing that because one, I miss the Friday night lights. Two, it’s just great to do and go and see stuff that’s outside our (professional football players) realm.”

Jones said he wanted to teach one thing in the first camp he hosted on his own.

“Just life lessons that you get in football in terms of telling (participants) that details matter,” Jones said. “If you’re good at doing that, that’s going to set you up.”

The participants at the camp varied from grades one through eight.

And, Jones said the things you coach the younger kids aren’t necessarily the same as those you teach the older ones.

“(With) the young ones, it’s good,” he said. “They’re having fun. Sometimes you tell them ‘Alright, you come, and you cut right here and you take the ball.’ And they just want to catch the ball from you and stuff like that. Obviously, the older you get, the demand is higher. You can kind of correct them more.

“(But) you don’t ever want to take the fun out of the game for young kids.”

Fresh start

Jones, who reports to training camp Thursday with the rest of the veterans — rookies report today — said his expectations for this season are high.

“Great expectations,” he said. “I’m excited for the opportunity and just to go take it step by step, practice by practice and game by game. That’s what I’m excited to do.”

Jones also said it was important to build chemistry with the other offensive players, especially quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“We have a new offense and stuff like that, there’s little tweaks that everybody has to come in and do. It’s a new offense, so everybody is starting fresh.”

Al Willman is a freelance writer