When Marvin Jones was last a Detroit Lion, in 2020, the team was in in a far different place than it is now. It's a difference he acknowledged immediately upon coming back after two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now 33 years old, Jones' best days (and best years as a Lion in his previous stint) are behind him. But he was productive for the Jaguars in 2021 (73 receptions for 832 yards), before a role reduction last year in a receiving corps that was reshaped in 2022 free agency.
Upon his signing back with the Lions, Jones' role was not necessarily lined up to be all that large. But Jameson Williams being suspended for the first six games of the season changed that, and now Jones is sure to be a prominent option for Jared Goff early in the season--if not all season.
Amon-Ra St. Brown has immediately leaned on Jones as a veteran mentor. Speaking to reporters last week, via SI.com, Lions wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El confirmed Jones' value in that area as a veteran guy.
""I could be talking about a certain route, as it relates to the way we need to run it, what it needs to look like, and I'll explain it. And other guys may be like, 'Well, why we can't do it like this?' And before I even get it out, Marvin is in the meeting, 'Like well, this is what Coach is trying to get you to understand, blah, blah, blah.' So, he helps a ton in the room, just because he's been in it. He's played in it and it certainly helps the young guys."
Lions also have expectations for Marvin Jones to be key producer on the field
Randle El went on to outline some on-field expectations for Jones this season.
"He's a the guy who makes the big boy catches, so to speak. He can do the dirty stuff in the trenches, you know, red zone guy for sure," Randle El explained. "So, that's why I see him in a lot, just making those dirty, grimy catches that will help us out. We got a couple of guys that can do it. But, he is one of the guys that for sure can show up and make those plays for us....""
Here's one for the "did you know?" column. Jones is third in Lions' franchise history with 36 receiving touchdowns, behind Calvin Johnson (83) and Herman Moore (62). Becoming the third man in franchise history with 40 receiving touchdowns, since he only needs four, feels pretty likely this season.