On paper, the Detroit Lions’ offensive weapons look pretty good entering the 2020 season. ESPN may not agree, but the Lions are returning all three of their starting wide receiver—Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Danny Amendola. All three of those players had at least 60 catches and 675 yards last season, while Golladay and Jones combined for a league-leading 20 touchdowns among all NFL duos.
Throw in a healthy T.J. Hockenson entering a key Year 2 in his career, another new weapon out of the backfield in rookie D’Andre Swift, and—most importantly—a healthy Matthew Stafford, and Detroit’s arsenal of skill position players could be among the league’s best in 2020.
Jones, entering his fifth year with the Lions, has seen some impressive players in his time, but he’s especially thrilled about this year’s crew.
“We’re definitely excited,” Jones said on a Zoom conference Thursday. “It’s going to be big, because—as you mentioned—the people that we have. You look to the left, you look to the right and we have ballers. That’s something that’s very exciting. Obviously, this is our second year in (offensive coordinator Darrell) Bevell’s offense, which we love. So excitement is definitely up.”
Jones is in a unique position, because his offseason wasn’t as disrupted as many players after COVID-19 forced the shutdown of many gyms across the nation. At his California house, he has his own full workout facility, equipped with a 60-yard turf field, a sand court and, obviously, an extensive weight room.
“It was just business as usual,” Jones said.
Part of that business was hosting some of the Lions’ young receivers at his home for some offseason work. That included Lions fifth-round pick Quintez Cephus, who clearly made an impression on Jones while they got in some work together.
“We got some good work in,” Jones said. “He definitely has the tools in terms of his strength, explosiveness. Dude could jump out the gym. It’ll be great to see him go once we start picking everything up.”
Jones said he takes pleasure in helping the young guys get ready to go, much like he and Golden Tate did with Kenny Golladay just a few years back.
“That’s what we do,” Jones said. “I think when you’ve been in the league for this long—and the type of people that we are—it’s always (important) to help, because if you help somebody, that’s just going to make the team better.”
It may be a little early for Cephus to find a significant role in this offense given all the weapons they already have. But with all of Detroit’s top three receivers on the last year of their deal, his time may come soon.