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Travis Jones Is Focusing on His Pass Rush Entering Year 3

DT Travis Jones
DT Travis Jones

This offseason has generated a ton of buzz about weight. From Lamar Jackson getting lighter to Justin Tucker bulking up a bit, there's a lot of attention on the scale.

That's also the case for defensive tackle Travis Jones. After playing last season at 345 pounds, he's down to his goal of 330, mostly by eating lean meats and staying away from carbohydrates.

Entering Year 3, his offseason goals were weight loss and to improve his pass rush game. If offseason practices are any indication, Jones has done both.

Coming off a season with 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hits, Jones looks poised to take a leap in 2024. During practices open to the media and with veteran starter Michael Pierce mostly on the sideline, Jones was a force in the middle, generating pressure with All-Pro Justin Madubuike.

"I just want to go out there and dominate and improve off the things I did last year and just keep being better, stacking days," Jones said. "I think I want to go out there for like five, six sacks, at least. Bare minimum."

Check out who stood out on the practice field during the Ravens' mandatory minicamp.

Sack production from defensive tackles usually takes a little longer to develop. Madubuike had 8.5 sacks across his first three seasons before 13 last year, and Chris Jones averaged a little over four in his first two years then had 15.5 in Year 3.

Jones is in a different mold than both players, and his play won't be solely defined by sacks. He has flashed dominance as a run stuffer and went from 24 tackles as a rookie to 36 last year, including four for loss. But Jones feels becoming a more dangerous rusher will round out his game.

A big season could be coming for Jones, and Defensive Line Coach Dennis Johnson was asked about the possibility of Madubuike-like breakout.

"From what I've seen from 'Trav,' he is a special human first – a special man – and then a special football player," Johnson said. "[He's] talented, and he wants it just as bad as anybody you'd be around.

"You want to talk about attention to detail, that's how he approaches every day. Whether it's football school or it's been OTAs, in the meetings; I think he should be [able to have success]. He has to continue to work – which I know he will – but he'll be in that type of position to have a successful season."

Getting that praise from Johnson isn't something Jones takes lightly, especially considering the type of player Madubuike is.

"That's hearing a lot because 'Buike, I see the work he put in throughout the years and last year him going out there and balling out, I'm just trying to follow his footsteps," Jones said.

Playing alongside someone that garners as much attention as Mudubuike will definitely help Jones. There will be reps where Madubuike is doubled, or at least the focal point of the interior protection, leaving Jones one-on-one. For him, the focus is taking off alongside his running-mate.

"I know when 'Buike goes out there a lot of teams will be focused on him," Jones said. "I just got to go out there and get mine like he's going to get his."

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