Benito Jones was claimed on waivers by the Detroit Lions, and it didn’t take long for him to get acclimated to his new surroundings.
Jones barely knew anything about his new team on the defensive line, and already, they were making a request. Time for up-downs.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, August 1 after joining the roster, Jones said that his initiation involved that form of physical labor before he could get on the field and go to practice.
“It was something I wasn’t expecting, but they said that’s part of the tradition here so I had to go ahead and get them knocked out. Before I took my first team rep they said I had to do all 40 of them. So I did all 40 of them. Got them out of the way,” Jones joked.
In terms of his first impression of his new team and new teammates, Jones said it’s not hard to identify what he’ll remember most.
“Oh my first impression was just them 40 up-downs,” Jones said with a laugh. “I gotta say man, I hadn’t done up-downs since college and it was very, very new to me. But you know, just going out and getting them done and getting out with the boys and just going to work.”
All kidding aside, Jones seems happy to be with his new team, even if they put a little bit of strain on his body right off the bat.
It’s all a part of the initiation process, and something that should bring the Lions even closer as a team as they push toward Week 1 of the season.
Jones Talks Waiver Process, Landing With Lions
The up-downs quickly helped break the ice for Jones coming to a new team under wild circumstances. He was cut on Tuesday by Miami, exposed to waivers and then picked up by the Lions.
During camp with the Dolphins, Jones felt as if he had a shot to make the team, but wasn’t sure. When he got cut, he quickly understood he’d have to pick himself up and move on. Now in Detroit, Jones seems fired up.
“I had a pretty good chance. (Didn’t know) if I was gonna make it or not, but I didn’t, so it’s a game of business. Get released and just wait at 24 hours (to) see if anybody picks you up. Detroit picked me up and I’m pretty excited about it,” he told the media.
In terms of his game, Jones admitted that he likes to get after it physically in the trenches.
“I just like to come out and compete real physically, just stop and run and just win football games here,” Jones said of his game.
That idea will sound very good to Lions fans, who will simply be glad they’ve got Jones in the mix to help with some of those goals now. His presence could be important for a defensive line that needs some physicality in the trenches.
Jones’ Career Stats & Highlights
In 2020, Jones was an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss. He was signed by Miami, and quickly made the roster as a depth player to compete up front for the team.
In college, Jones was very productive, finishing with 132 tackles and 10.5 sacks. His 31 tackles-for loss were ninth-overall in program history, showcasing Jones’ ability to get behind the line of scrimmage. Here’s a sample:
While Jones has only 1 tackle to his credit in the NFL and hasn’t played much with the Dolphins, he has enjoyed a productive 2022 preseason, something Justin Rogers of the Detroit News pointed out.
“A little more on Jones. He brings that girth the Lions were looking for at 315 pounds. He hasn’t played much his first two seasons after going undrafted, but had a productive preseason, logging 110 snaps, while recording seven tackles (two for a loss) and five QB pressures,” Rogers tweeted.
With the Lions, Jones should have an immediate chance to compete for snaps and show what he can do on the field. In the end, the up-downs might only make him stronger.