In a conference call on Monday, Chandler Jones revealed that he finds more comfort playing outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals.
“I feel like I’m more comfortable as an outside linebacker. To have the opportunity to play the same position in consecutive years is going to be fun for me,” said Jones.
Jones did quite well as a defensive end, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2015 during his stint with the New England Patriots. But as it currently stands, there is no doubt in Joseph’s mind which role he will play for the Cardinals.
“When I started in the NFL, I was a defensive end so I’m familiar with the position, but I like playing outside linebacker,” reiterated Jones.
Second-year defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will be sticking to Jones as the OLB in his 3-4 base defense. In 2019, Jones posted a league-best 17 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries en route to another Pro Bowl invite. Jones credits his excellent defensive play on taking more risks in the field.
“My stats, they lead to the team’s success. A lot of those plays were just me taking risks. A lot of them I was falling into, obviously, but a lot of plays I have the option to go inside or outside. A lot of pass rushers don’t want to go inside because that’s kind of frowned upon. I’ve been going inside a lot more.”
Jones later revealed that this approach was directed by teammate Terell Suggs.
“He taught me to say, ‘Hey, take [the risk]. The biggest thing that happens is you make a big play. The worst thing that happens is all right, they gain a couple of yards.’ He triggered something in my brain to kind of take more risks on the field, and it’s also [related] to a lot of my stats.”