Marvin Jones is getting back together with his ex after two years apart and already notices a difference.
Jones played five years with the Detroit Lions, from 2016-2020, spanning the end of the Jim Caldwell era and through the disastrous Matt Patricia reign. The receiver spent the past two years with the Jacksonville Jaguars before inking a free-agent deal to return to Detroit.
As with most players, Dan Campbell's changes to the franchise have gotten rave reviews.
"It's a new feel for sure," Jones said on Wednesday. "And I think when I came here, the first thing everybody said is, 'Hey, Marv, it's different, you're going to love it.' The culture's different, the coaches, everything. It's not the same. So I think that was definitely one of the reasons why it was definitely appealing for me to come back here and, why not?"
Jones is the latest to highlight the cultural change Campbell has brought to the Lions. As we saw last season on HBO's Hard Knocks, the energy in the building is pervasive, and having a host of former NFL players helps the relationships between the staff and the locker room.
Continuing the positive momentum from last season's end-of-year run is key for Campbell. On paper, the Lions made upgrades that should see them enter the season as NFC North favorites. However, we've seen previous Detroit clubs collapse under the weight of expectations. Can Campbell avoid reversion like so many in the past?
Detroit added Jones to help replace DJ Chark, who signed in Carolina. He joins a burgeoning Lions offense with receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams and Josh Reynolds. At 33, coming off a 529-yard season in 16 games in Jacksonville, Jones profiles as a veteran presence who can be relied upon but isn't the 1,100-yard guy Detroit saw in 2017. But Jones is confident he can still make plays as he gets up in age.
"I'm going to still move like I always do," he said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "Y'all will see."
Jones will don No. 0 in Detroit. He wore 11 during his first tenure with the Lions, a number Kalif Raymond currently sports.
"It was a family decision," Jones said. "They voted, and I was just like, 'Let's do it.' Be the first one to rock the 0 in Detroit, so why not?"
Former Lions fullback John Olszewski wore 0 in 1961, and George Plimpton famously wore No. 0 in the 1963 preseason when doing research for the book "Paper Lion."