Jason’s debut just as impressive as Chris Johnson’s

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When it comes to Titan rookies, most of the attention has been bestowed upon the potential of electrifying RB Chris Johnson. CJ didn’t let any of us down as he fueled the high expectations surrounding him with his breathtaking 66 yard touchdown scamper against the Rams.
As great as that one particular play was, I was just as impressed with the performance of Titan second round draft pick Jason Jones, whose constant presence in the Rams’ backfield was a more than welcome sight.

Jones is a guy that was discussed on this site prior to being drafted by the Titans. I selected him in the second round of my Titans’ mock draft. Tom also pegged Jones as a guy the Titans should go after in his mock draft selections.
What intrigued me the most when doing some research on Jones was his work-ethic and athletic ability. Jason was known more for his basketball skills during his high school days, averaging around 24 points per game during his senior year. He was described by his coaches as being a very coachable player with a great attitude and a great motor.
Similar to other NFL players who were overlooked by general managers because they didn’t attend Miami or USC, Jones flew under the radar as a result of playing ball at a smaller school. He was a dominating defensive tackle at Eastern Michigan, despite weighing only 270 pounds. The Titans drafted him with the belief that he could contribute at defensive end as well as the DT position.
Filling in for Tony Brown, Jones showed that he could be just as effective playing DT on the NFL level, despite his lack of girth. Lined up next to Albert Haynesworth, Jones was able to use his athletic ability and quickness to take advantage of one-on-one matchups.
Apparently, Haynesworth has been very impressed with the rookie DE/DT. In The Tennessean, Albert was very complimentary of Jason’s ability:

Including my rookie year, I’ve never seen a rookie that far along…if he keeps working like he is, he’s going to be really, really good.

Even if Tony Brown is starting ahead of Jones when the regular season opens, Jason should provide quality depth on a Titan defensive line that lost two contributors (Odom, LaBoy) and one non-contributor (Randy Starks) to free agency this year.
LP Field was the host of two coming out parties last weekend. Like many of you, I’m pumped about the potential of both Johnson and Jones as they attempt to become factors during their rookie seasons.

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14 Responses to “Jason’s debut just as impressive as Chris Johnson’s”

  1. Markus Says:

    oops…I meant list CJas WR and have white, Henry, & Ganther listed as 1-2-3…meaning all 4 are available…

  2. Garo Says:

    Good article. Jason Jones is already better than Starks and Laboy at this point in his career, imo. He’s close to surpassing Odom’s one good year.
    What’s amazing is when I attended the Jeff Fisher softball game, Jason was signing autographs about 10 feet from me. We couldnt believe how big he was. Then you see him in a game and your amazed how quick and agile he is. I thought it was telling on the play that Bulgar was picked off by Bulluck, the Rams double teamed Jason and singled up KVB, Haynesworth and Kearse. That says alot.
    It’s early, but this could be one heck of a draft class for the Titans.

  3. Drexel Perry Says:

    Of the two DL that were drafted last year, Jones definitely looks like the one who should contribute right away.
    Hayes is more of a project but does have the ability to be a factor down the road. I’m going to keep my eye on him a little more during the next few preseason games.
    I agree that the draft picks (especially the first two) are getting off to a great start. Hopefully their success will continue as the season unfolds.

  4. Markus Says:

    RE: CJ…we know what we have: a tough runner who, despite being “small” can run between the tackles…make people miss IN the hole, and take it to the house. Here’s a dilemma:
    Lendale is a bruiser, Henry looked light years better, and Ganther lit it up too! I know Q ran vs. 3rd stringers, but he also has tons of speed. When he bounced out and turned on the burners for his long TD, he walked away from people. Cuff is on IR…
    Is it possible we have a 3 back rotation depending on who we play? I can’t see cutting any of these guys yet…do you think Fisher would list CJ as a WR and have Lendale and Henry listed 1-2 to get all 3 in on the action??? If we cut 1 of our mediocre WR’s to make room for CJ my feelings wouldn’t be hurt.

  5. Dave Says:

    I think we could cut about 4 receivers and not even notice a difference….

  6. Drexel Perry Says:

    Markus,
    There is also the possibility of Ganther making the roster as a backup FB.
    He’s a hard-worker who stepped up last week and if he continues to perform well, I wouldn’t be shocked if Fisher finds a spot for Ganther somewhere.

  7. Nick Says:

    Has anyone seen how William Hayes looks in practices? I’m very intrested in him, just for the simple fact he ran a 4.6 fourty,and wasn’t even on anyone’s draft board. If he works hard, does anyone see him as a quality replacement to Kearse?

  8. jrtitans Says:

    I expect someone to say –like a commercial:
    “I cant believe its a rookie!”.
    Both CJ and JJ act and look like experienced NFL players. and, Drex, im with ya on Ganther being the backup FB.
    Teams with weak offnsive lines or and inability to stop the run are going to have a long day.

  9. Dave Says:

    Supposedly, William Hayes had moved up a lot of people’s draft board. That was the “justification” for trading up to take him.

  10. Drexel Perry Says:

    At this point in his young career, Hayes is a project. He’s having his ups and downs adjusting to the demands of the NFL.
    A few days ago, Fisher suggested that Hayes is vying for the 4th defensive end spot, but is a ways away from getting the 3rd spot.
    I would imagine that Jacob Ford, who had a sack against the Rams, is in line to be the first DE off of the bench.
    http://www.titansonline.com/news/titans_news_detail.php?PRKey=5931

  11. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Nick, I’ve probably watched the d-line more than any other position group in training camp and I agree with Drexel that Hayes is a project.
    Ford has definitely shown more than any of the others as a reserve DE and looks like he’s staked a pretty firm claim to the #3 spot. Dave Ball is also doing well and I’d put him at #4 right now, with Hayes struggling to catch up to them. Hayes may even be behind Sean Conover and sucking hind teat.
    While Hayes has impressive physical skills, he’s very raw and needs to improve his technique. It seems like Jim Washburn is alternately cussing him and encouraging him in drills and practices.

  12. jerry t Says:

    Staying healthy is all he needs to do everything will
    be alright just taking him alot longer , he’s a gift chunk
    of talent and he needs washburn to stay on to him hes
    young and has a position to study and learn in his first
    year.

  13. Markus Says:

    thanks Drex…isn’t the FB position full w/ Hall and 1 or 2 of our TE’s? I know Dinger likes to use TE’s in both postions….just curious

  14. Nick Says:

    thanks for the info guys. Wish I was in Nashville to watch for myself, but you all provide the information I crave. Keep up the good work.

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