Deep threat Marv Jones boosts Lions offense; to make ESPN singing debut

Jones, Stafford have developed trust in each other

ALLEN PARK — Marv Jones, Renaissance Man.

The Detroit Lions wide receiver, who makes jaw-dropping catches, will be on the ESPN pre-game show, “Countdown,” on Sunday morning.

Will they show one of his touchdowns from Monday night’s win at Green Bay? Possibly.

For certain they will feature a segment on his tryout for “American Idol” which was sponsored by the sports network.

(Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions)

Jones, who has a recording studio in his house, won’t say much about the “American Idol” singing stint. Here’s a hint: He’s an R&B guy.

He writes songs and has been singing since he was 4-years-old.

Still, he’s not ready to quit his Sunday job.

Through eight games, Jones is tied for the most deep receptions with eight (20-plus yards downfield), second in deep yards (257), and second in touchdowns with three. Matthew Stafford has a passer rating of 130.0 when targeting him deep, according to Brett Whitfield from Pro Football Focus.

In the win over the Packers, Jones had seven catches for 107 yards including a 25-yard touchdown catch and another for 11 yards. Both catches were thrown into tight coverage but Jones came down with the ball and made it look easy.

“Marv is like butter, he’s like slippery. You think he’s covered and next thing you know the ball is about to land and he goes from cover, cover, cover to wide open and he makes a heck of a catch,’’ wide receiver Golden Tate said. “So love what he’s bringing to the table.’’

Tate makes some dandy catches himself and had seven receptions at Green Bay for 113 yards.

While the run games sputters, Stafford and the passing game seem to have found their rhythm.

“I know the trust Marvin and Stafford have between each other is at an all-time high right now,’’ Tate said. “When Stafford sees one-on-one or sees a good look I think he gets excited. I think they both get excited. I think the percentage we’re completing right now is very high. That’s what we need for whoever the ball is thrown to.’’

Jones will not say the offense has turned a corner.

“I’m not going to say we’ve arrived because we haven’t and we can never think like that because we always have stuff to prove,’’ Jones said.

He also wouldn’t say this is the best he’s played while midway through his second season in Detroit.

“You just have to keep working, it starts on the practice field with all of us. We all put in the work and we feel we’ve been practicing very, very well particularly this whole year even as of late we’ve been practicing great, and we just have to keep it up,’’ Jones said. “When you practice great you have to cash in, that’s pretty much all I do and we do …’’

Jones is a bit of a humble guy which is rare for an NFL wide receiver.

He said he can’t name the best catch he’s made while playing for the Lions.

However, coach Jim Caldwell can.

“I got a catch for you. Washington last year, big one down the middle, Josh Norman laid out for it. That’s probably the one,’’ Caldwell said.

In fact, Norman was knocked out of the game with a concussion after landing hard on his left shoulder after giving up that 52-yard pass to Jones in the third quarter.

“(Jone is) getting better all the time,’’ Caldwell said mentioning the “spectacular” touchdown catch on Monday.

Those chunk plays of 20 yards or more are key to a successful offense.

“One of the things that if you take a look at scoring in particular in this league, that it’s hard to score touchdowns without a 20-yard plus play during the course of a drive. So, you’re always looking for those because they change the field position but then they also get you in position to score,’’ Caldwell said. “But typically, you don’t see very often do you see just marches down the field that are incrementally done with five-, and six-, and seven- to eight-yard catches. There’s usually a big one in there somewhere. So, that’s always good for you.”


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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