Cardinals LB Chandler Jones aiming for record-breaking 2020 season
Aug 6, 2020, 2:23 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2020, 8:12 am
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones has his eyes set on a big 2020 campaign, both as a team and individually.
After finishing last year with a career-high 19 sacks — only half a sack behind 2019 sack leader Shaquil Barrett’s 19.5 — one might presume Jones would be content with that number.
In fact, the three-time Pro Bowler wants to break Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record of 22.5 set back in 2001.
“I feel like if there was a year to do it, this could be the year to do it, honestly, for me,” Jones told media on a Zoom call Thursday. “That’s a personal goal of mine.
“I feel like I’m getting closer and closer. I don’t feel older. I had a pretty decent year last year. I feel even better actually with some of this time off, my body got some time to rest. So why not, why can’t I break the record?”
The two-time All-Pro linebacker said his confidence stems from the improvement he’s seen within the team this offseason.
“We have more help on our team. We have a better team. You see it on paper,” Jones said. “So with more help from the defense and the offense, that should help that total come up for sure.”
Since arriving in Arizona in 2016, Jones leads the entirety of the NFL with 60 sacks. So it’s no secret as to who opposing teams will need to gameplan around from an offensive line perspective.
But Jones doesn’t settle on what he’s already achieved as he heads into his ninth NFL season. Instead, he continues to put in the off-the-field work that’s required to sharpen his craft.
“That falls back on the conversation of film study,” Jones said. “Depending on who I’m going against that week, I’ll know what I’m going to do. I do have a lot of go-to moves that I could probably try and do on anyone, but you definitely get a feel for the game.
“At this point in my career, I feel I have mastered the art of pass-rushing for sure.”
Jones is also looking forward to his second year under Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. The two share a unique relationship as neighbors, but Jones said his coach is at work so much that they rarely see each other at home.
“There’s nothing really like knowing your defensive coordinator — knowing what he likes to call on first down, knowing what he likes to call on second down, his third down go-to calls, his got-to-have-it calls,” Jones said.
“And after one year, I feel like I have a good feel of what kind of coach he is — if he’s aggressive or not. So I’m excited for him to be here for a second year.”