CINCINNATI -- There were advantages to watching games from high up in Paul Brown Stadium's suites last season, but Marvin Jones much more prefers the view he has been getting so far this preseason -- a front-row spot right in the middle of the action.
"I just felt detached," the Cincinnati Bengals receiver said, thinking back on his completely lost, injury-filled 2014 season. "Being out and looking at the game from the TV or the suite upstairs, it's different."
But the TV and suite life were all Jones had last season as he rehabbed a series of foot and ankle injuries. There was no preseason for him. There was no regular season nor postseason, either. All he had was his couch when the rest of the Bengals were on the road, and the stadium box when they were at home.
That part of Jones' playing days are a blip on his career timeline now. Fully healthy, the once detached receiver has been getting reacquainted with his teammates on the field. He spent this whole preseason working with them on getting back into the pass-catching rhythm that allowed him to have a career year in 2013. Just as he did before the injury issues overwhelmed him last year, Jones has again vowed to get to to the Pro Bowl.
If he looks all year like he did in last Saturday's preseason win over Chicago, that could happen.
"Oh yeah, I'm back," Jones said.
In the win, the wideout caught only two passes but one was a 31-yard touchdown that came after he gained about a dozen yards after the catch, and bounced off a couple of tackle attempts before falling into the end zone. Jones said after the game that he was glad to get that level of contact because he hadn't had much of it to that point in the preseason.
Jones believes watching his teammates different vantage points last year can have a positive impact on how he plays on the field this year.
"I felt more like a coach from up top," Jones said about last season's viewing experience. "I wanted to go out there and do that or do this, but I can't. I felt very restricted on Sundays when I was looking at the game. It was just different, seeing the game from a different perspective and seeing it more as a fan."
How hard was it to watch? Often Jones found himself shouting at his teammates who were inside his television screen.
"Sometimes it didn't matter if we were playing or someone else was playing," Jones said. "I'd still be like, 'Oh, they're in a Cover 2? Well, there's the safety! Look here! Throw it to here! Aw man, you should have caught it!"
Jones knows some fan somewhere will be shouting at him through their television this season. That's quite all right by him. It beats the alternative -- not having the chance to catch passes at all.
"Seeing it from a different perspective isn't bad," Jones said, "but it was bad that I was out."