How I Prepare is a season-long series about what specific Detroit Lions players do each week to get ready for Sundays.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Every week, Detroit Lions defensive end Jason Jones finds something he’s able to use. He can’t pinpoint what. He can’t tell you when it would come in a game. But every week, he insists, he finds something that tips him off to a play.
This is how his preparation has been since his rookie year in the NFL out of Eastern Michigan, when he was learning how to watch film on a different level from his days playing in the Mid American Conference.
Jones explained part of what he is looking for and some of his week in the latest edition of our How I Prepare series, this time in friendly bullet points.
There is no rhythm to what Jones watches when, which is atypical compared to some of his teammates we’ve spoken with for this series. Every day, though, he is watching something.
One day stands out, however, and that’s Thursday. On Thursday, he is focused on pass rushes.
“My Thursdays are all pass rushing,” Jones said. “So when I look at film, I’m looking at pass tips for myself.”
Most of his film study revolves around the pass rush and the offensive lineman he is likely going to face the most Sunday. One thing he doesn’t watch as heavily is when a team runs, which might seem odd for a defensive end who has stopping the run as a primary job.
He has his reasons.
“With us, in the league, studying the run, you get the same type of blocks every week,” Jones said. “Just different scheme, different team. So I focus on passing.”
Jones watches cutups provided by the coaches but will also sometimes pull other games coaches didn’t specifically provide cuts of if there is something specific he is trying to look for. He’ll also watch practices each day with a specific focus in mind.
For at least an hour when he gets home every day, he’s watching some sort of film.
“To see how I did,” Jones said. “The goal with that is to evaluate myself with where I’m at for the plays that are going to be called and the formations. Also, I look at the other team and I also zero in, as a D-lineman, on the offensive lineman I’m pretty much going to be going against for the most part, so I study them as well.”
When he is watching his likely opponent that week, he is trying to pinpoint whatever strengths and weaknesses he can grab on to. That, combined with studying an opponent’s pass protection, gives him that small edge he is seeking.
“When you watch film, everything might not help you out sometimes, but if you see something on film that can help you out in a game, if you see it, you’ll recognize it,” Jones said. “Say you see a certain formation they run a play out of. If you’re studying film, you’ll know that so you can play that play.”