Chandler Jones stood in front of the group of kids in the Cardinals’ practice bubble Saturday morning, talking a little bit about himself and his career, when he was asked about his franchise-record 17 sacks.
“I want more,” the Cardinals’ defensive end said.
It isn’t that Jones is predicting another record-setting season, necessarily. It’s the search for motivation.
“You never want to be a one-year guy,” Jones said. “Me having a decent season last year, I never want to look back at the end of my career and say, ‘I had 17 sacks’ and then you kind of (fade) away. You want, after that one year, ‘He got better. It pushes me even harder. It makes me want to do even better.”
That was part of the message for the children taking part in Jones’ first football camp. Jones said he hoped that it would “grow and grow every year.”
If so, it would follow Jones’ career arc since his trade to the Cardinals from New England.
He had 11 sacks in 2016 before his big season last year, a big year that came as an exclamation point following his signing of a rich, long-term contract extension. It’s not like he’s been unnoticed – he was voted in the top 30 in the NFL top 100, and received some all-pro votes – but he did find a younger teammate asking him recently about his lack of national recognition.
“(He said) ‘People don’t really say anything.’ I’m like, ‘Who? Recognition from who?’ ” Jones said. “I don’t really care. I try to come out and do my job. If you worry your whole life about your ratings and who, you’ll never go anywhere.”
Jones reiterated his embrace of playing in a 4-3 defense as an end. He weighs about 275 pounds right now, although he noted “I’m not really as strict with my diet as I should be” this time of year and he plans on reporting to training camp around 260 or 265 pounds.
The heavier weight was just fine for this camp and these kids, however.
“I always wanted to put on a camp,” Jones said.
Images from the defensive end's first kids camp held at the Cardinals' Tempe facility.