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Chandler Jones: Of course I want better stats, but you can’t go chasing them

Shane Lechler, Nnamdi Asomugha, Sebastian Janikowski, Rodney Hudson and Khalil Mack are tabbed by Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed as the Las Vegas Raiders' best 21st century non-quarterbacks.

Veteran edge rusher Chandler Jones’ first season with the Raiders wasn’t quite what anyone in Las Vegas was hoping for, but it was on an upswing before it came to an early end.

Jones had four sacks, nine quarterback hits, and his memorable game-winning fumble return for a touchdown against the Patriots in three weeks before suffering a season-ending elbow injury on Christmas Eve. That flourish didn’t change what was the worst statistical season of Jones’ career and it left questions about what the Raiders will get out of Jones this season.

At the end of the team’s offseason program, Jones said that he’s lighter than he was last year and feels faster and stronger as he heads into his second season with the team. He also acknowledged his desire for better numbers, but said it isn’t the main thing driving him.

“Football, especially at this level, statistics are very tricky,” Jones said, via Paul Gutierrez of “You can sit there and stare at stats, but at the end of the day as long as you’re grading out well by the coaches and you’re doing your job, and you might be freeing up other guys, as long as you’re putting the team first, that’s all that matters. Do I want more stats? Of course. Is that my goal? Of course. I would be selling myself short if I didn’t. But you can’t go chasing them.”

Maxx Crosby is back and the Raiders added Tyree Wilson in the first round, so Jones isn’t the only option off the edge but the Raiders defense will be in better shape if he looks a bit more like the Jones of old a bit more often this time around.