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Raiders’ Chandler Jones lets his example do his talking

Chandler Jones was always the model for Maxx Crosby when he was in college. Crosby used to watch film of Jones to try to learn what made him so good at consistently getting to the quarterback.

Now Crosby can just lean over to Jones’ locker and ask him about his techniques.

The signing of Jones in free agency to pair with Crosby gives the Raiders one of the most dynamic and productive pass-rushing duos in the league.

“Seeing it on film is one thing. Then when you see him on the field,” Crosby said, the admiration obvious in his voice.

And that’s not all. Crosby also now has the opportunity to talk to Jones and have him “explain what he’s thinking about when he’s moving.”

In Crosby’s eyes, Jones is “so long and bendy. He’s just a different, one-of-a-kind type rusher and talent. … That’s what makes him great.”

Jones has certainly earned that compliment over the course of a 10-year career that has seen him win a Super Bowl, record more than 100 sacks, appear in four Pro Bowls and earn two first-team All-Pro nods.

The 32-year-old, an upstate New York-raised Syracuse alum, has little still to prove in what’s left of his NFL career.

He is far more interested in making an impact on his new team.

“Me coming here was to make this team better,” he said. “I’m not here to talk about my individual goals. … I want Chandler Jones being on the Las Vegas Raiders to make the Raiders better. And I think I couldn’t ask myself to do anything else.”

Defensive line coach Frank Okam believes Jones is already doing that before having played a regular-season snap.

“He’s a true professional,” Okam said. “You see how hard he’s running to the ball. He’s leading by example with his effort. And I think that’s the thing that is a testament to his longevity in his career and why he’s been so successful for this long amount of time.”

That kind of athletic success runs in the family.

Jones is the youngest of three boys who have all found success in the sports world. His older brother Arthur was a defensive tackle on the Ravens’ 2013 Super Bowl championship team.

Jon, the middle child, is a former UFC light heavyweight champion who is widely considered the best fighter in the organization’s history.

Their triumphs followed tragedy, however, as their oldest sister Carmen died of a brain tumor as a teenager. The Jones family matriarch, Camille, died in 2017 at age 55.

But Jones doesn’t talk much publicly about his past. He’s not terribly interested in discussing the future, either.

His focus is on what he can do today to help his team win games on Sundays.

“I try not to talk about myself too much, but hopefully Raider Nation sees a hard worker, someone that’s loving their job and someone obviously that’s helping the team win,” he said.

He said he wants to be “someone that’s making plays, getting turnovers … just being consistent, not doing anything different or doing anything new, but doing what I’ve always done.”

To his teammates, his work ethic speaks volumes. A player with his resume punching the clock every day sets a standard for those who can only hope to one day boast of his accomplishments.

“That guy’s got 100 sacks, so you take everything you can get from him,” defensive end Tashawn Bower said. “(Words) are things that could go in one ear and out the other, but effort and all that is going to get you a sack or two, for sure.”

Jones is proud his example has resonated.

“I always try to emphasize to them that none of that stuff comes without work,” he said. “Work always comes first. I’m not a big ‘hoorah’ guy. I don’t have a lot of speeches for the guys, but I lead by example.”

In Year 11 of his career, Jones says he still tries to show his teammates that “hey, you have to run to the ball. You have to run off the field. You have to get those extra lifts in. You have to do the extra studying.”

His example also shows, he says, that “obviously hard work pays off.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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