Lions’ Marvin Jones will catch more help from Randy Moss

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Marvin Jones Jr.

Allen Park – After the best season of his career, Detroit Lions receiver Marvin Jones is going to stick with what’s working for him. That means going back to North Carolina to work with receiving legend Randy Moss this offseason.

“I’m going to look at the film,” Jones said last week. “Look at what I’ve done and what I think I need to get better at and attack it just like I did last year.”

A free-agent addition in 2016, Jones came hot out the gate in his first season in Detroit, catching 27 passes for a league-leading 519 yards through five games. But a string of lower-body injuries derailed his campaign. He didn’t top 100 yards in a game the rest of the season and finished with fewer than 60 yards in seven of 10 games.

That’s why one of his focuses working with Moss last offseason was leg strength.

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“Just the intensity, picking up the intensity in terms of the lower body and picking up the weight and really building the strength,” Jones said in June. “That’s not to say that I didn’t do it last year, because I did, but it’s just an added focus — less focus on the upper body and more on the lower body.”

That focus helped Jones stay off the injury report and play in all 16 games in 2017. He also set new benchmarks, topping 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, while finding the end zone nine times.

Jones was one of the NFL’s premier deep threats last season, hauling in 20 grabs of 20 or more yards and six of at least 40, both ranking in the top-five in the league.

“Definitely proud of what we’ve been able to do in that manner,” Jones said. “We have some explosive players that can go down and get the ball. That’s all I can say. We have the players that can do it, we have the quarterback that has the arm to do it. You match that up, we’ll take it every day.”

Jones said one of his focuses heading into next season will be improving his ability to do damage after the catch.

“I think it’s something early on, when I was young, I was great at that. Kind of got lost in the years,” Jones said. “I’m going to be able to take something to the house on a consistent basis. I just want to be a complete receiver, in that manner. If I do that, the game is over.”

Jones’ teammate, Golden Tate, led all receivers with 546 yards after the catch. Jones finished with just 201 on his 61 receptions.

Jones likely won’t be the only NFL receiver spending time with Moss this offseason. The retired receiver has trained a number of players in recent years, from Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown to Dallas’ Cole Beasley.