Jones playing NT but learning all positions

Jones playing NT but learning all positions
May 12, 2013, 3:00 pm
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First, they gave him the old nose tackle’s number and now they’re telling him to play the position.

Chris Jones, who wears No. 95 (which used to belong to UFA NT Shaun Cody), said he spent the Texans’ three-day rookie camp mostly playing nose tackle.

“But I’m told I’m going to practice every position,” he said, “so I have to get the playbook and study each position.”

Jones, from Bowling Green, was one of four sixth-round selections by the Texans in this year’s draft.

“I played every position that they play here in college,” Jones said. “I’m just taking what I know and improving it by what (defensive line) Coach (Bill) Kollar teaches me.”

Jones said he played different positions in college, inside and out, and said that probably helped his draft status with the Texans.
The Texans have two nose tackles on their roster: Earl Mitchell and Terrell McClain. Mitchell will be the starter this season, which won’t be much of a change. He played just as much as Cody did last season. Cody is still an unrestricted free agent. Jones’ development might go a long way in determining if the Texans want to bring Cody back next season.

Jones said he’s excited to get a chance to work with the veterans in the coming weeks. He specifically mentioned reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and Mitchell because he expects to be behind him on the depth chart.

“Yeah, watching those guys is how you get better,” Jones said. “They bring a lot to the table and when they come in, coach is already talking about us, that it’s different when they come in here. Because they go non-stop. They might get tired but they don’t show it. That’s definitely going to push me to go harder.”

Jones is 6-2, 302, and said he thinks he’s big enough to play NT for the Texans now. His listed size is very comparable to Mitchell’s (6-3, 300). And Jones expects he’ll be able to get bigger with the help of those in the Texans’ organization. But he won’t get too big, because versatility is still key.

He’s only been with the team for the three-day rookie camp but Jones has enjoyed working with defensive line coach Kollar, who is one of the more brash and loud position coaches on the team.

“He’s a very old-school coach. I can say that,” Jones said. “He’s a great guy. He’s very straight-forward. He won’t steer me wrong. He’s been very straight-up with me. I look forward to working with him over the years.”

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