Linebacker Deion Jones has been a bright spot in an otherwise poor Atlanta Falcons defense the last several seasons.
He came back from a season-ending knee injury in 2018 to post consecutive 100-tackle seasons. He has at least 100 tackles in each of the four full seasons he's played in the NFL. And he's on the verge of breaking the team's career record for interceptions returned for a touchdown.
While he enjoyed success under Dan Quinn's former coaching regime, Jones is embracing new head coach Arthur Smith and defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
"Deion's done a nice job as well," said Smith "He's got his weight up. He's playing multiple roles. He's done a nice job of handling every position we've asked him to, because we'll be a multiple defense. So has Mykal Walker and so has Foye [Oluokun]. There's good competition. Emmanuel Ellerbee showed up, and then Dorian [Etheridge]. All those guys. They're all fighting it out."
Jones is doing his part, putting in the work, and he appreciates working with Pees.
"Oh, I love it," said Jones. "It's been good. [He's] real hands on with everything, making sure we get the understanding of the defense. Flowing around, like I said, I'm loving it."
Jones should get the chance to attack the line of scrimmage more in this defense.
"That's something we added, just playing a little bit more downhill and then getting back to coverage. It's a little bit of everything though. But mostly downhill on runs."
There's been a theme about Smith and his approach to handling the team as well.
"I love that he's straight forward," Jones said of Smith. "He's holding us accountable for our mistakes and how we take care of our bodies. And how we come in and prepare to get on the field. I love him for that," Jones finished with a smile.
Latest CBS Mock Draft has Falcons Taking Cornerback
The Atlanta Falcons several excellent options in CBS Sports' latest Mock Draft.
LISTEN: Can Falcons Benefit From Hayden Hurst's Return?
Locked On Falcons: Passing out grades on Analytics Tuesday
LISTEN: Did Falcons Show Progress Despite Loss vs. Bucs?
Locked On Falcons: Rapid Reaction to Week 13's Loss to Buccaneers