Kevin Jones: "We Know Who We Are"

It's difficult for Lions' running back Kevin Jones to contain his excitement. Just ask his dad or his girlfriend. Or even him. And after a handful of OTA's (off-season training activities), it's easy to see why.

It's difficult for Lions' running back Kevin Jones to contain his excitement.

Just ask his dad or his girlfriend. Or even him.

And after a handful of OTA's (off-season training activities), it's easy to see why.

Jones, entering his third year in the league, has become ingrained in the playbook of Lions' offensive coordinator Mike Martz. As well he should: his name is mentioned frequently.

Martz has apparently trusted Jones with the role of a multi-dimensional backfield threat; a role enjoyed by former Martz pupil and perennial Pro Bowl running back Marshall Faulk. Given Faulk's success as both a receiver and a runner, the opportunity to duplicate that production has Jones waiting in the wings.

"I'm excited everyday," said Jones during Wednesday's OTA session. "I go home and talk about it. I talk to my dad about it. I talk to my girlfriend about. I'm excited."

Although the changes Martz will bring has been discussed at length, including a vertical passing game and the reliance upon a pass-catching backfield threat, Jones did admit that there was still work to be done.

Last year, Jones was nagged by injuries but was also rarely featured as the primary back. Because of that, his numbers suffered, including a meager season total of 664 yards on just 186 carries and he was ninth on the team in receptions with 20 catches for 109 yards.

Although Jones is expected to make the adjustment to an every down back, he will be expected to be a vertical threat.

They are changes that won't come easy.

"I'm just trying to get in condition and catch a lot of balls," he said, "I've caught a lot of balls in practice, and a lot of plays go to me. I'm just getting ready."

Added Jones, "I think it's totally different from what we've been running. I think (this offense) is more effective for us as a team, and it is utilizing the talents that we have."

With a new crop of a quarterbacks, new faces at receiver and a brand-new playbook, Jones was confident that the team's offense would be capable of moving the chains.

Although everyone inside and outside of the Allen Park training facility is anxious to see the results, Jones was mindful that it's still early in the off-season.

"I think we still need work, but we're moving along pretty good and pretty fast," said Jones, "But we still need work on offense. I know what the end result is going to be, so we just have to keep working and stay focused on what we're doing.

"We get a true indication of where we're at when we're on the field, just as long as we execute. If we execute the plays, we know where we're at. We're not there yet, but we're going to get there."

When asked what the team's identity is, Jones said that has already been established.

"We know who we are: An explosive offense, a smothering defense. Hard work pays off. That's going to be our identity."


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