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Datone Jones to line up as 'elephant' for Packers in 2016

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Packers coach Mike McCarthy reveals the team's plan to move Datone Jones outside before next season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers don't only plan to shift Clay Matthews outside before next season. At the NFL's annual owner meetings, head coach Mike McCarthy revealed the team's plan to play Datone Jones as an "elephant" edge rusher.

McCarthy has used the "elephant" tag to describe several other pass rushers, such as Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Nick Perry. Jones' transition began in 2015, when he played most of his snaps at outside linebacker during the latter half of the season. The move gives the team another experienced options off the edge but effectively leaves just Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, Mike Pennel and Josh Boyd along the interior.

By moving Jones outside, the Packers likely hope they can squeeze out more of the talent that convinced them to use the 26th overall pick in the 2013 draft. Jones doesn't have the type of bend normally associated with an edge rusher in Dom Capers' defense, but he does possess enough explosion and athleticism to succeed as a situational rusher.

In three seasons, Jones has amassed 52 total tackles, eight sacks and one interception. He has appeared in 44 out of 48 possible games during the regular season.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.