Lions' Jones seeks explosive step in second season

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Lions receiver Marvin Jones Jr. heads up field after a reception during OTAs.

Allen Park – Marvin Jones wants to be more explosive this year. That’s why the Detroit Lions wide receiver has been focusing on his lower body while training at his San Diego home this offseason.

“I wanted to focus on my lower body, explosion, stuff like that, to have that consistent explosion and run after the catch,” Jones said.

Jones has had consistently modest yards after the catch during his professional career. He averaged 4.3 yards after receptions last season, well behind teammate Golden Tate, who specializes in maximizing gains in the open field.

It’s an important area to focus on given Detroit’s offensive scheme, which relies heavily on quick, short throws. Matthew Stafford’s average pass traveled 7.44 yards beyond the line of scrimmage last season, 25th among qualifying starters.

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In addition to improving his explosion, Jones hopes focusing on his lower body will help him combat durability issues that plagued him in 2016, when he missed practice time with hamstring, thigh and quadriceps ailments.

Those injuries contributed to diminished production down the stretch. After racking up a league-leading 482 receiving yards through the first four games, including a career-high 205-yard effort at Green Bay, Jones wasn’t able to top 100 yards the final 12 games, while being held under 50 yards seven times.

He wants to be more consistent his second season with the Lions.

“Obviously, the start I had was a great start, and I was hoping to continue that,” Jones said. “It’s football and I didn’t. You guys know how I felt about that, so I don’t really have to talk about that anymore. I’m just thinking about the future and what I have to do in terms of being that guy that puts up those numbers every game. That’s what I want, that’s the goal.”

Twitter: @justin_rogers