After being injured part of his senior year at Syracuse University, the Baltimore Ravens drafted Arthur Jones in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Behind guys like Haloti Ngata, Terrence Cody, Cory Redding and others on the team's depth chart, Jones spent a lot of time on the sidelines just watching, learning and waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
The team has cut ties with Redding and some of the other veteran ahead of Jones and while they have picked up some solid players who have played as much or more than Jones (Pernell McPhee), Jones has worked hard to improve his technique, strength and conditioning and seems poised to take a jump on both the depth chart as well as the amount of playing time he could be earning in 2012.
With the recent surgery for McPhee and the departure of Redding and some of the other defensive line veterans, Jones has been lining up at the defensive end in the Ravens 3-4 scheme and is loving learning the transition. Jones has lost weight since drafted and rounded his body into tip-top shape through training with his younger brother, Jon "Bones" Jones, the UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion.
Another brother, Chandler Jones, a defensive end also from Syracuse, was a first-round draft pick by the New England Patriots in this past April's NFL Draft. Thinking back, feeding these three boys must have been a major effort by the boy's parents, and you have to give them a ton of credit for now seeing the fruits of their labors as all three have made something out of their lives.
Back to Art's story and current situation. Stories on BaltimoreRavens.com and in his college hometown website, Syracuse.com, champions Jones' efforts to land a starting spot on the Ravens defense. In it, they quote a Baltimore Sun story and also note that while he doesn't expect to have much chances to line up against his younger brother when the Ravens play the Patriots in 2012 other than on Special Teams, he will have no qualms about what he plans to do:
"When I line up against him and see him on the other side, it's going to be like, 'Wow, this kid is in the league, too.' It's a testament to hard work. I don't know if I will get a chance to go against him except on special teams, and if I do, I will knock him on his butt a few times."