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Raiders staff believes in Chandler Jones — should the fans believe too?

Despite a lack of big plays, the veteran pass rusher gets praised by Josh McDaniels and his coaches.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Chandler Jones leaves the field after Sunday’s win
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

One of the biggest individual disappointments in the Las Vegas Raiders’ 1-3 start to the season has been pass rusher Chandler Jones.

The veteran free-agent addition doesn’t have a sack and has just eight tackles in four games. That’s a meager early return on a player the Raiders signed to a three-year contract this offseason with $34 million in guaranteed money. Still, Raiders’ coach Josh McDaniels, who was with Jones in New England, had defended Jones’ play and said he’s doing some quiet work that doesn’t necessarily stand out in the stat sheet.

“He’s making a lot of plays that don’t show up in the stats. And that’s probably going to be not good enough for everybody to listen to, but he’s making plays in the running game, he drew multiple holding penalties yesterday,” McDaniels said. “I mean, there is ways to produce and there is a way to impact the game beyond just the one column that everybody’s looking for. I thought he and Maxx [Crosby], Clelin [Ferrell], Malcolm [Koonce], Bilal [Nichols] – I thought there was a lot of different things going on up front yesterday where we created some negativity offensively for them with some of our effort, the way we were playing. We didn’t always make the tackle. We didn’t always get the sack, or the TFL, but we created it for somebody else to have it.”

McDaniels also praised Jones, 32, for his team-first attitude and for continuing to work hard, while not making big, flashy plays in the early season.

“Chandler is an unselfish guy, and he understands what his role is. Nobody would want to have more of those than Chandler would, but he also is not going to sit here and get frustrated with lack of those production stats,” McDaniels said. “He was in there, Russell [Wilson] felt him some yesterday for sure, and like I said, he drew a few holdings calls that were important in the game. I think impact is sometimes, if you look at it and measure it just by the one column, you can misjudge it a little bit. I like the way he’s playing. I like the effort he’s playing with, and I think those will come.”