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O'HARA: Just call him Marvin Jones

Marvin Jones is coming to the Detroit Lions with no illusions or expectations that he will replace Calvin Johnson.

Jones signed with the Lions as a free agent after four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, and he is as much in awe as the average fan of what Johnson accomplished in nine seasons before announcing his retirement earlier this week.

"That's the thing everybody should know – I'm not coming here to replace Calvin Johnson," Jones said in a conference-call interview with the Detroit media Thursday. "He's definitely one of a kind. We probably won't see anyone like him.

"What I will replace that he left is his integrity on and off the field – just the way he carried himself. That's something I will bring, and that I admired about him.

"I'm here to be me. I'm here to do what I can do to help this team win and succeed."

Jones laughed when asked if he had a nickname similar to "Megatron," as Johnson was dubbed by former teammate Roy Williams as a rookie in 2007.

"Call me Marvin Jones," Jones said.

Jones has been welcomed to his new team by two people at the top of the Lions' hierarchy – owner Martha Firestone Ford and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

"I had an opportunity to talk to Mrs. Ford, and just the excitement around the whole deal was exciting to me," Jones said. "I've got to tell you, it was a delight. The tone in her voice, she was very happy and very excited to get me up here.

"It was pure joy. You could tell that, from top to bottom how they set the tone. It trickles down."

Jones has faced the Lions only once in his career – a 27-24 Bengals victory at Ford Field in 2013. Jones got a good look at Stafford in that game, and also from watching tapes in preparing for the game.

"Obviously, he's a great quarterback," Jones said. "The way he throws the ball is excellent. I've seen a lot of film on him. He definitely sticks out and is somebody I'm glad to play with."

When asked what he and Stafford talked about, Jones replied: "Just how excited we both were to play with each other.  He congratulated me. We're ready to work."

Jones, who turns 26 on Saturday, has good size at 6-2 and 198 pounds and a proven ability to catch the ball.

Jones had 65 catches in 2015 and only two drops. Of his 65 catches, 13 were for 20 yards or more. That is a 20-percent rate and is statistically above average for a receiver with that many catches.

Jones' career has progressed steadily  – with one interruption caused by injury -- since Cincinnati drafted him in the fifth round in 2012 out of Cal.

As a rookie he played in 11 games with five starts and caught 18 passes, one for a touchdown. He played all 16 games in 2013 and caught 51 passes for a 14.0-yard average per catch and 10 touchdowns. After missing all of 2014 with injuries, Jones' receiving stats climbed again in 2015 to 65 receptions.

Jones talked about the good times he had playing in Cincinnati, but now he'll work to make his own memories in Detroit with his new teammates on offense. He isn't worried about where he fits in the pecking order.

 "I'm just a guy that's coming in and trying to make plays that help this team," Jones said. "I don't look at the No. 1 and No. 2 receiver. We have a lot of talent here. We all step up to the plate and make our plays."

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