Jaguars safety Josh Jones emerges from his 'dark place' to earn starting safety job

By Gary Smits, The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.) on

Published in Football

Take football away from a football player, and you have what Jaguars safety Josh Jones describes as "a dark place."

He's seen the light in Jacksonville.

Jones, cast off by Green Bay and Dallas within a four-month span last year, got new life with the Jaguars in a system he said he has long admired and believes takes the best advantage of his skill set.

"It's been a long journey, in a span of four years," Jones said on Thursday after the Jaguars practice. "I wouldn't want it any other way. You go through what you go through because you need to know what you know. I'm in a place where my coaches believe in me."

Jones worked his way up on the depth chart from third team to starter in training camp, making the Jaguars' decision to trade Ronnie Harrison to Cleveland easier.

He responded in Sunday's 27-20 victory over Indianapolis by leading the Jags in tackles with 12, despite coming out of the game at one point with a bruised leg.


Defensive coordinator Todd Wash said Jones caught his attention early in training camp.

"He was down at the third spot (on the depth chart) when we started and as soon as he got in there, he started communicating, real loud," Wash said. "The rest of the team was like, 'who in the heck is this guy?' He really jumped off the tape about how he studies and his ability to make plays. You've seen that on Sunday."

But, as Jones alluded to, he's had a series of ups and downs in less than four seasons in the NFL.

Jones was Green Bay's second-round draft pick and the 61st player selected overall from N.C. State in 2017 after collecting eight interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 17 passes broken up in three years with the Wolfpack.


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