Lions expect Marvin Jones to be 'better than he was'

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Marvin Jones wasn’t happy with the way he played in his first season with the Detroit Lions.

General manager Bob Quinn, who signed Jones to a five-year, $40 million contract, disagreed with the harsh personal assessment, but was pleased the receiver was holding himself to a lofty standard.

“We have high expectations for all our players,” Quinn said. “I think Marvin had a good year. I’m kind of happy that he said that, that he’s not satisfied with, what did he have, 55 catches? So I’m happy that Marvin said that because I know what kind of guy he is and I know what kind of worker that he is. He’s already been in here a little bit this week, so I know he’s going to be better than he was last year.”

In his first year with Detroit, Jones set a career high with 930 receiving yards, but more than half of that production came in the first four games. At the quarter mark, he was leading the NFL with 482 yards, doing much of the damage with big plays.

Jones sputtered down the stretch, failing to top 100 yards in any of the final 13 games, including the team’s 26-6 playoff loss to Seattle. He was held under 50 yards in seven of those contests.

After the loss to the Seahawks, where Jones led the Lions with four catches for 81 yards, he expressed disappointment with his overall performance.

“In terms of my standards it wasn’t good at all,” Jones said. “When you look at how I started, you wouldn’t think it would end this way. Obviously, I had some uncharacteristic drops here and there and early on. I never had a season like this. I don’t know what to say. I know what type of player I am and I want to be the best.”

Jones came to the Lions with a reputation for being sure-handed, but put six passes on the ground, matching the number he had in 43 games with the Cincinnati Bengals.

As a team, Detroit struggled to hold on to the ball. After being among the league’s most sure-handed teams with 17 drops in 2015, 28 catchable balls hit the ground last season. Only Oakland and the New York Jets had more. Detroit had four more drops in the playoffs, including one by Jones.