Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ D.J. Jones working to get to more QBs, says Super Bowl loss was more motivating than disappointing

May 21, 2020 at 3:44 PM--

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones recorded two sacks last season before suffering a high-ankle sprain during a Week 14 win over the New Orleans Saints and landing on injured reserve. They were the only sacks of his career and came in a season where the young defensive lineman was proving he could be an impact player.

"It was very disappointing for me," Jones said Thursday during a video conference call with reporters. "I felt like I was on the rise. I felt like there was a lot more out there for me. I felt like I could have helped my team along the way. But at the same time, God makes no mistakes, and there's nothing I can do about the past except for work hard for the future."

Jones had to watch from the sidelines as his team fought its way to the Super Bowl but eventually fell just short of a championship. It was especially hard for Jones, who felt he could have helped, if not for the injury.

Like many of his teammates, Jones is using the loss as motivation for the upcoming season.

"As far as the Super Bowl goes, it was more motivating than disappointing because I wasn't able to play," Jones said. "Just to see my brothers out there, fighting, just to see that we had an opportunity to win is motivation to me that we can get back to that game.

"I'm just working right now, like I know the rest of my teammates are, to get back."

Jones could see an increased role during the upcoming season, and the now-healthy defensive lineman is working this offseason to find a way to get to opposing quarterbacks more consistently.

"I know I have it in me," Jones shared. "I just need the opportunity, and I need to continue to work at my craft to get better. Like I said, I stop my feet, I'll be stuck in mud, and I won't be able to make any plays. But as long as my feet keep working, my hands are working, I can get to the quarterback."

Jones recorded a career-high 23 tackles, four for a loss, and two quarterback hits to add to his two sacks last season before being sidelined.

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