Marvin Jones may have had a disappointing first season with the Lions, but the Arizona Cardinals still gave Jones the No. 1 receiver treatment in last week’s season opener.
Jones, shadowed by top Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson most of the game, caught just two passes for 37 yards and a touchdown.
And while that stat line may not indicate progress from last year’s frustrating final three-quarters of the season, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said Jones had “a really nice” game for the Lions.
“It’s not going to show up on the stat sheet, but he fought and competed to get open,” Cooter said. “He made a couple really nice plays, and there were some other ones where maybe we were looking the other way that he went and got open. So Marvin’s really doing a nice job.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford targeted Jones just twice with passes, preferring some of his other matchups in the Cardinals secondary instead.
Jones caught a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, when he shook loose from Peterson on a scramble drill as Stafford bought time with his feet evading the Cardinals’ three-man rush.
His second catch, a 31-yarder late in the third quarter, came against zone coverage.
Jones, whose struggles last season were due in part to his inability to beat press man coverage, is “improving” in that area, Cooter said.
“Marv’s improved in a bunch of things in this training camp and we’re going…
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