On Thursday, the Bengals clobbered the Detroit Lions in their first preseason game on the road of 2016, by a score of 30-14. It was great to see the team really clicking in just about every aspect. But, it was particularly special for the players and coaches for another reason too. It was the first chance for them to see former Bengals receiver Marvin Jones in action with his new team.
“It was cool, man,” Adam Jones told Jim Owczarski of Cincinnati.com. “It would have been a lot different in a real game. I’m happy he had an OK day. I don’t think (Stafford) had nobody else (to throw to). That’s why you pay him all the money for, right?”
Given that it was a preseason game, it makes perfect sense that Adam Jones was happy to see Marvin Jones have a good game. Over the course of the first quarter, Jones recorded four catches for 65 yards. Only one of those passes was caught for less than nine yards. Had it not been for some excellent goal-to-go play by the Bengals’ defense, Marvin Jones’ play would have led to an incredible touchdown drive to give the Lions the first touchdown of the game.
Ultimately, it wouldn’t have mattered as the Bengals’ backup and reserve players outscored their Lions counterparts by a score of 23-10. But, it would have been a nice cap on a good series for Marvin Jones in his first game action against his former team. Since it’s a preseason game anyway, it just makes sense to feel happy for Marvin Jones’ success, like Marvin Lewis expressed after the game.
“I watched Marvin grow up,” Lewis said. “So, I’m proud of him.”
That said, Lewis didn’t seem too eager to comment on Jones too much, beyond his history with the Bengals.
“I can’t—they signed him,” Lewis said. “He was a good player for us and did a nice job when he was with us.”
It was a nice experience for some of Jones’ old teammates to see him making things work with his new team. There were no feelings of bitterness from guys like A.J. Green for Jones’ decision to leave for supposedly greener pastures, only feelings of pride for their friend. In fact, they reminisced and exchanged jerseys after the game.
“It’s kind of weird,” Green said. “We’d been together four years and we built a great relationship. I’m so happy for him. He definitely deserves it. From day one he came in, the way he came and worked, I know he’s going to be a good receiver.”
In the wake of Calvin Johnson’s early retirement from the NFL, Jones really has a great opportunity in Detroit that he never would have had if he stayed in Cincinnati where Green is and will continue to the the #1 receiver. Jones could potentially even be the face of a franchise In Detroit, in time. In Cincinnati, he would have likely always played second fiddle to Green. So, guys like Dre Kirkpatrick are just happy to see him have a chance to make his mark.
“He’s trying to show that community that he can be the man over there,” Kirkpatrick said. “That’s what he’s fighting for. He did pretty good.”