clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Brad Jones can bring to the Eagles

Learn more about the former Green Bay linebacker from the perspective of a Packers writer.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a busy week for the Philadelphia Eagles. So busy that you may have forgotten that the team signed free agent linebacker Brad Jones to a two-year contract on Monday.

Jones isn't exactly a player to get fired up about but he is a little intriguing. Jones, now 28 years old,  was once somewhat of a promising contributor to the Green Bay Packers before his career quickly started to downhill.

So what went wrong? Jason B. Hirschhorn (@by_JBH) from SB Nation Packers blog Acme Packing Packing has the answers.

1) What are his biggest strengths? His biggest weaknesses?

When healthy, Brad Jones possesses the athleticism to cover considerable space for his position. That was his primary asset in 2012 when he easily outperformed the rest of the Packers' inside linebackers. In a league increasingly dominated by pass-catching tight ends and slot receivers, having such a player in the middle of a defense is vital.

That said, we haven't seen that version of Jones much over the last two seasons. His struggles with lower-body injuries severely limited his mobility, and as a result he became a major liability in pass coverage. And regardless, he's always been a suspect run defender. Teams that ran at Jones generally enjoyed plenty of success.

Jones has also drawn an exorbitant number of flags considering his playing time. This problem has reared its head on both defense and special teams.

2) Can you give a brief recap of how he went from backup to starter to back to backup? Just looking for a little summary of how his career played out in GB, as Packers fans remember it.

Jones' rise came during the 2012 season after a spate of injuries at linebacker forced the Packers to slide him inside. He performed well, garnering a long-term extension the following offseason. Green Bay seemed content to use Jones as their coverage linebacker with A.J. Hawk playing more of a pure "Mike" role.

However, Jones couldn't build off his breakout season. Injuries diminished his pass coverage skills and exacerbated his preexisting flaws. The low point came during the 2014 season opener when he drew two penalties on defense and missed three tackles. The performance was so poor that the Packers replaced him in the base defense for the rest of the season.

3) Jones likely won't have a big role on the Eagles. He seems to figure in as a backup and special teams contributor. To what extent do you think he can have a positive impact in that role?

Prior to this year's NFC title game, Jones had actually played a meaningful role on special teams. He was one of the team leaders in tackles on the coverage units, and generally didn't make mistakes.

At the same time, Jones was also the key for the Seattle's fake field goal play that helped launch their comeback over the Packers. The Seahawks acknowledged after the game that once they saw Jones on the field goal block unit, they audibled out of the kick.

4) Any indication of what he's like off the field? Character?

By most accounts Jones was a well-liked teammate and locker room presence. Head coach Mike McCarthy praised him on multiple occasions, and there isn't any case of another player speaking out against him that I'm aware of.

However, some of the beat writers didn't care for Jones personally. That could be because he wasn't a great quote or something to that effect, but it's worth noting nonetheless.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bleeding Green Nation Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Philadelphia Eagles news from Bleeding Green Nation