Tom Brady was pretty pumped that the Patriots traded up six spots in the NFL draft back in April and grabbed Chandler Jones. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion is a fan of the rookie's brother.
Jon "Bones" Jones will be a Patriots fan when Chandler and the defense are on the field. But when the offense has the ball, Jon will be cheering on a Baltimore D that, like New England's, features a certain exterior lineman named Jones. Arthur Jones, that is, a 26-year-old in his third year with the Ravens, and the older brother of Jon, 25, and Chandler, 22.
What has Jon Jones' head spinning is that, one day removed from a brain-scrambling cage fight, he will be required to pay closer attention to a football game than perhaps ever before.
"I don't necessarily want a 0-0 game," said Jon Jones. "I definitely want one of my brothers to win, and I'm interested in who has the better individual game -- more tackles, more sacks. Arthur and Chandler are very competitive. They're best friends, so they're competitive in a good way. But whoever does better Sunday night will definitely roast the other. I'm going to enjoy that."
Did Jon have what it takes to keep up with the other Joneses in football?
"I absolutely sucked," said the fighter. "I was terrible at football. I didn't remember the plays, so I would line up at defensive end and just try to get through the line. I'd be doing swim moves on running plays. I was just terrible."
Arthur has spent part of the last couple of NFL offseasons training in MMA alongside his brother the UFC champ. "Arthur has a tremendous amount of potential in martial arts," said Jon. "He has phenomenal wrestling skills, he's a fast learner, he has a great work ethic. I just think he's a natural fighter."
Football is "Arthur's passion in life," said Jon Jones. But if that career were to end up as a dead end, said Jon, "Arthur wouldn't hesitate to pursue mixed martial arts."
Arthur Jones is listed on the Ravens roster at 310 pounds. "The dedication that it would take for him to get down to the 265 heavyweight limit," said Jon, " I think it would transform him mentally into the warrior he needs to be to compete at a high level. And he would be faster than ever and mentally a stronger person. I think he would make a great contender, if not champion, in the UFC."
Chandler, too? "Nah," said Jon Jones, "Chandler's not a fighter, other than when we play slap boxing games in our mom's and dad's backyard."