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Jones Jr. feels like he's back home with the Lions

Marvin Jones Jr. feels like he's back home with the Detroit Lions, with familiar surroundings and the same ambitions and desire to play the game that he's had in every stop in his career.

One of those stops in his 11-year career was with the Lions, where he spent five years as a reliable go-to receiver for then quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Jones Jr. signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent in 2021. After two years there, where he helped a young team develop into a playoff team, Jones Jr. signed with the Lions as a free agent.

"Definitely feels like I'm back home, even though it's a different squad, different mentality," Jones Jr. said after the first day of minicamp. "It feels like I'm back home.

"These are the practice fields I've been on. It feels good."

View photos from Day 1 of Detroit Lions minicamp on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Allen Park, Mich.

This is the second time the Lions have gone shopping in the free-agent market and come back with Jones Jr. to fill a void.

The first time was in 2016, when the Lions needed a veteran receiver to fill a vacancy created by Calvin Johnson's impending retirement.

Jones Jr. had 289 catches for 4,296 yards and 36 touchdowns. He averaged 14.9 yards per catch.

The Lions signed Jones Jr. this year after DJ Chark signed with the Panthers after one season in Detroit.

Jones Jr. quickly developed positive relationships with head coach Dan Campbell and quarterback Jared Goff.

"Great," is how he described his take on Campbell. Jones Jr. appreciates how Campbell meets with the receivers.

"There's going to be some laughter going on, and there's going to be some motivating going on. A great guy to follow."

Jones Jr. has been impressed with Goff's work ethic, leadership and ability.

"One thing that stands out is his anticipation," Jones Jr. said of Goff's ability to complete passes. "When you're coming out of a break, the football is right there. That's one of the great qualities he has.

"He speaks when he has something to say. That's good for us."

At 33, Jones Jr.'s desire to play the game is pure and simple.

"I love the game," he said. "I love it when I'm not playing, and I love when I am playing. Just the drive to be great.

"And I can still play a little bit."

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