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Risky Business: Terrell Suggs' Advice Helped Chandler Jones Have Monster Year

OLB Chandler Jones (right) received some valuable advice from Terrell Suggs last season.
OLB Chandler Jones (right) received some valuable advice from Terrell Suggs last season.

Terrell Suggs' Arizona homecoming didn't have a Hollywood ending, as the former local star was released from the Cardinals in mid-December.

However, the veteran pass-rusher's impact could resonate for the foreseeable future.

Chandler Jones is a decorated sack master himself, but enjoyed taking advice from Suggs during their stint together. Jones said one piece of information stuck out, which helped him finish with 19 sacks, eight forced fumbles and a second-place finish in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

"He taught me to take (risks)," Jones said. "The biggest thing that can happen is you make a big play. The worst thing that can happen is, alright, they gained a couple yards. He triggered something in my brain to take more risks on the field, and it's credited to a lot of my stats."

In previous years, Jones said his natural inclination on certain plays was to be conservative.

He sometimes wouldn't leap at the quarterback for fear of a roughing the passer penalty if the ball was thrown too quickly. He wouldn't take the inside route on a pass-rush because it meant he could lose contain.

But there are certain allowances made to star players, and freelancing can be one of them if it proves effective.

Suggs often tried to get the jump on the snap count in 2019, and sometimes it led to offsides penalties. But as Jones explained, there was a method to the process, and the advice from Suggs helped Jones' game reach new heights.

"A lot of those plays were just me taking risks," Jones said. "A lot of them I was called into, obviously, but a lot of plays where I have the option to go inside or outside, a lot of pass-rushers don't want to go inside because it's kind of frowned upon. So I've been going inside a lot more."

Jones is now looking for his next edge for 2020. While it doesn't seem like veterans can gain a bunch from a virtual offseason, Jones is squeezing every drop he can from it.

"A lot of it can get repetitive, but that's when you hone in and lock in and say, 'I'm sharpening my ax,'" Jones said.

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