Bears free-agent acquisition Justin Jones has been blown away by Halas Hall, his new team's practice facility in Lake Forest.
A sparkling 162,500-square foot football operations addition that was completed in 2019 more than doubled the size of the complex, which originally opened in 1997 just northeast of I-294 and Route 60.
"I feel like I just got drafted again going into the facility," Jones said Monday night on the Bears All-Access Radio Show on WSCR-AM 670, "because of how big it is and all the things we have accessible to us: float tanks, saunas, steam rooms, the weight room is two floors …
"The whole facility is amazing. It makes you want to go to work every day—not to mention the Super Bowl trophy in the main entrance. It's literally motivation as soon as you walk through the doors. I've got to get my hands on one of those, oh my gosh."
A defensive tackle who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Chargers, Jones signed a two-year contract with the Bears March 18.
Jones was selected by the Chargers in the third round of the 2018 draft out of North Carolina State. He played in 51 games with 35 starts the past four seasons, recording 63 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 12 tackles-for-loss, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
After appearing in 15 games as a rookie in 2018, all as a reserve, Jones opened 35 of the 36 games he played the past three seasons. Last year the 6-3, 309-pounder established career highs with 37 tackles and 3.0 sacks and matched a career high with five tackles-for-loss.
Jones was planning to sign with the Colts before receiving a late-night phone call from Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who convinced the 25-year-old to come to Chicago to play in his 4-3 defense.
It'll be the same scheme that Eberflus coordinated the past four seasons with the Colts and similar to the one that Jones played in at North Carolina State—where he teamed on the line with future NFL players Bradley Chubb, B.J. Hill and Kentavius Street.
"Coach 'Flus' coming from the Colts and the style of defense that they played—with DeForest Buckner at the three-technique and Quan [fellow Bears free-agent acquisition Al-Quadin Muhammad] at end, just seeing how they play, I fit into the scheme and what [Eberflus] is trying to accomplish over here pretty well, and that got me excited," Jones said.
"I come from that penetrating three-technique defense at N.C. State. It's getting back to my roots, back where I came from. That really got me excited because that was kind of my true introduction to football."