Deion Jones is ready to start making a difference with his new team.
Acquired by the Browns last week in a trade with the Falcons, Jones — a 2017 Pro Bowl linebacker who tallied 137 tackles last season — is set to be added to the Browns active roster ahead of Sunday's big divisional game against the Ravens. Jones has been practicing with the Browns since Oct. 12 and is expected to slide into the middle of the defense to provide some tackling stability and veteran leadership.
"I'm ready to go," he said. "I think I should get a little spin. We'll see what's up."
Jones didn't play last week against the Patriots and has yet to play this season due to his recovery from an offseason shoulder surgery, although his biggest focus since joining the Browns has been learning the defensive playbook and terminology.
He said he's healthy and has "no problem with my shoulder" as he gears up for his Browns debut.
"It's just been getting the terminology down, getting out there and playing with it," Jones said. "The biggest thing for me was getting to know these guys and jelling in the locker room."
Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Baltimore Ravens
A seventh-year veteran, Jones has totaled over 100 tackles in five of his previous six seasons and has amassed 8.5 sacks, 11 interceptions and five touchdowns. He's the oldest player in a linebackers room that lost its top veteran, Anthony Walker Jr., to a season-ending quad injury in Week 3.
"He's experienced the highest of highs and some lows within this business," linebackers coach Jason Tarver said. "Everything has happened to him, or he has made it happen from coming into the league and going to the Pro Bowl. He's excellent at taking the ball away. He's scored many touchdowns on defense, which is a hard thing to do. Then he has overcome injuries and he has seen some different schemes. He's seen it all."
Tarver said Jones is capable of playing both in the middle linebacker spot and outside as a WILL (weakside) linebacker and could also don the "green sticker" on the helmet for defense to relay play calls.
"He's done a good job with it," Tarver said. "There's a good chance he's wearing the green-[dot] helmet quickly here in the near future."
The Browns are hoping Jones can provide a spark to a defense that has underperformed in the first six games of the season. The Browns rank 19th in the league against the pass (229.8 pass yards allowed per game) and 24th against the run (131.5 yards allowed per game). They entered Week 7 ranked 31st overall in points allowed per game (27.2).
The job won't be easy for anyone on the defense Sunday against Lamar Jackson, an elusive QB who has surged the Ravens offense with his mobility and strong arm. Jones remembers facing Jackson when he was a rookie with the Ravens in 2018, and Jones led the Falcons defense with 15 tackles and also tallied a sack in the game.
"I remember him being elusive, doing what he does and having fun at the quarterback position," Jones said. "As long as you stick to your technique, I think we'll do pretty good. Taking good angles, wrapping up and giving him one way to go."