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Chandler Jones Hungry For More

Posted Aug 10, 2017

Notes: Edge-rusher drops weight, increases expectations; mobile tackling dummies arrive

Cardinals edge-rusher Chandler Jones is looking to take another step forward in 2017.

There were grand expectations thrust upon Chandler Jones after the Cardinals dealt Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick to the Patriots for him last offseason.

The outside linebacker performed as advertised, accumulating 11 sacks and four forced fumbles to give the defense a much-needed presence on the edge. After inking a lucrative long-term extension this offseason, Jones heads into his second year with the team looking for more.

Jones said he played at around 275 pounds last season, but felt like that weight fit better for New England’s scheme – where he was a defensive end – than in Arizona. He dropped 10 pounds this offseason to help his quickness.

 “I’m excited to move around a little bit more,” Jones said.

Jones’ main emphasis will continue to be pass-rushing, but he has more varied responsibilities with the Cardinals as an outside linebacker, including plays where he is asked to drop into coverage. Arians said the early returns have been favorable.

“I think he is quicker, especially when he’s out in space,” Arians said. “He didn’t lose any power, that’s for sure.”

Jones said he has a much better grasp on the defensive system, and he’s feeling more comfortable from a personal standpoint.  While all-around gains would help the Cardinals, Jones will ultimately be judged on his ability to pressure quarterbacks.

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Broncos star edge-rusher Von Miller said earlier this offseason that he felt like 30 sacks was attainable, and Jones was asked about that number.

“I’m not going to say it’s not possible,” Jones said.  “Von Miller is a tremendous player. I feel like he’s going with the whole, ‘If you shoot for the stars, if you fall short you’ll land on the moon.’ We’ll see what happens. He’s a great player, and hopefully he gets 30.”

When asked about his individual goals, Jones declined to specify a number, saying only that he hopes to surpass last season’s total. If the Cardinals can get double-digit sack totals from Jones and Markus Golden again, they should be in pretty good shape defensively.

“Steve Keim first said when he first brought me here he said, ‘I better get a pass rush with you here,’” Jones said. “Fortunately we did league the league (in sacks in 2016), but we didn’t get as many wins as we wanted. Hopefully we do lead the league in sacks again but get some more wins. That’s ultimately the goal.”

MOBILE TACKLING DUMMIES MAKE THEIR DEBUT

It took longer than expected, but the Cardinals’ mobile tackling dummies have arrived. Arians ordered them to help improve tackling technique this offseason, and while they were on back-order for three months, he’s looking forward to using them moving forward.

Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams tackled one a couple times in practice on Wednesday. He said the Browns had them last year and he watched other guys go through drills, but this was his first experience.

“It went good,” Williams said. “It was funny seeing the dummy moving on its own.”

Arians said he never could have envisioned this advance in technology when he began his coaching career. Teams used other teams to fine-tune their technique back then.

“We had scout-teamers for that,” Arians said.

JOHN BROWN QUESTIONABLE FOR SATURDAY

Wide receiver John Brown (quad) continues to get more work in practice and he will be questionable to play in Saturday’s preseason contest against the Raiders. Left tackle D.J. Humphries (hamstring) and wide receiver Chad Williams (shin splints) are also iffy.

Wide receiver Aaron Dobson (hamstring) and linebacker Jarvis Jones (back) will not play.

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