The Herald Bulletin

March 13, 2014

Colts DL Jones comes from fighting family

By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — If nothing else, Arthur Jones is up for a fight.

Most older brothers are confident they can best their younger siblings. But it jumps to another level when the younger brother is UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.

"Our last fight was probably maybe a year or two ago, but I've never lost a fight," Arthur Jones told local reporters on a conference call Thursday. "I'll give it to him, this is what he does for a living. He's a UFC fighter. He's the world champion. I'm smart enough that I'm going to fight him in a closed area, if it goes down, not in an open space where he can kick and punch. I wasn't a slouch myself, not to toot my own horn, but I was a two-time (high school) wrestling champ. I wasn't too bad, and I can carry my own."

The Indianapolis Colts, hoping to add a bit of that feistiness, signed Jones to a five-year deal reportedly worth $33 million on Tuesday. Three days into the NFL's annual open market, he remains the team's most notable free agent addition.

The 27-year-old carries a strong pedigree. His youngest brother, 23-year-old Chandler, is a defensive end for the New England Patriots. And the three Jones boys have been competing all their lives.

"We broke a lot of furniture growing up, and we're paying our mom back for it now," the Colts' newest defensive lineman said. "Whether it was the last piece of chicken or a cookie, we were fighting over it, for pecking order on the video games. And it just made us who we are now. It built so much character."

Jones spent the past four seasons competing for snaps on the Baltimore Ravens' defensive line, and he reportedly drew interest from nine teams as free agency began. But his decision wasn't difficult.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano served as the Ravens defensive coordinator in 2011 and made a strong impression, and Indianapolis defensive end Cory Redding was a mentor during Jones' first two seasons in the league.

"During the process, when I found out Indy was one of the teams interested in me, it was really a no-brainer," Jones said. "I told my agent, 'You need to get this thing done. This is where I want to be.' And he made things happen. It's always easy to go to a place where you see and know familiar faces. It's kind of like the first day of school. You are waiting at the bus stop looking for someone you know."

A fifth-round pick out of Syracuse in 2010, Jones had to wait his turn at the start of his career in Baltimore. He made just one start in his first two seasons before blossoming in 2012 with 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Last season, Jones made a career-high 52 tackles with four sacks.

A versatile defender who can play all three positions on the line, there has been speculation as to Jones' specific role in Indianapolis. He learned the team's plans during a recent conversation with Pagano but is not ready to reveal them.

"I told him wherever he needs me at, and he told me his role, where he wanted me at," Jones said. "I'm not going to give anything away. You guys are going to have to wait until training camp to find that out because I don't want anything out that he doesn't want out. I'm just excited to be here and get to work."

The Colts did add one free agent Thursday, signing former Dallas Cowboys center Phil Costa to a two-year deal. Costa made 20 starts in four seasons with the Cowboys but was limited to just six games and three starts in the past two years because of injuries.

"Phil is a young, hard-nosed and physical center who has shown he can play at a winning level in our league," Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson said in a team release. "He will provide strong competition at the center position."

Indianapolis also is expected to host former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks for a free agent visit on Friday.