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Jack Jones brings just the kind of energy Raiders want in their DBs

There was a time when many of the league’s best defensive backs were known for being the cockiest players on the field. At the same time, they were often criticized for it. Even though, for many of them, their confidence and competitive spirit were a crucial part of what made them great.

The Raiders seem to have at least one guy like that on their team in Jack Jones

“I believe I’m a premier corner already myself,” Jones said this week. “I’m not really worried about what y’all say respectively. I’m not really worried about what y’all say. I just go out there and play ball. My goal this year is to be the number one defense and make the playoffs and go farther in the playoffs than we did last year.”

Despite some solid play by Jones in New England, he was cut by the team midway through last season, seemingly because his attitude wasn’t a fit with his coaches. The moment he became available, his former college and high school coach Antonio Pierce – who happened to have replaced a former Patriots coach in Josh McDaniels – scooped him up.

Jones quickly stepped in and took the starting cornerback spot from the tackle-allergic Marcus Peters. And Jones has been thriving ever since with no sign he is anything but a perfect fit with the new energy.

The offseason brought another former player into the Raiders’ coaching ranks, with Ricky Manning Jr. taking over as cornerbacks coach. Manning played six seasons in the NFL and in that time became known for his on-field confidence. So you can bet he appreciates it when he sees it.

“Jack, man. Jack’s a character,” Manning said of Jones. “Everybody loves him. He’s a good character guy, he’s hungry. But also, he believes in second chances and being able to be here and have people that care about you. So, I think it’s going to be a big year for him because of those things.”

Manning came over from the Jets, where he worked with 2022 Defensive Rookie of the Year and two-time Pro Bowler Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. And you simply won’t find a more confident player than a guy who refers to himself as Sauce. He backed it up, though. Manning wants his new cornerback room to embody that too. Guys like Jones and Nate Hobbs bring that swagger every day.

“You know, we just hotheads, we think we the best and we smooth. It’s OK, it’s what we are,” Manning said of the cornerback room. 

“I want those guys to believe that they’re the baddest in the world. And those two believe that, and they’ll let you know. And that’s just a start, so now you got to go out there and do it each and every day.”

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire