Thanksgiving weekend is typically a time for friends and family to reunite.
This Sunday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone will be reacquainted with a former player who he is quite fond of.
"[Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker] Chandler Jones is someone I was with all through my time at Syracuse," Marrone said. "I know him extremely well. Outstanding player, creates a lot of havoc, both in the run and the pass."
Marrone served as the head coach at Syracuse from 2009-12. Jones was probably the most talented player during Marrone's tenure with the Orange.
The pair of former allies eventually turned into divisional opponents at the next level.
Jones was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Marrone became the Buffalo Bills' head coach in 2013.
The AFC East rivalry brought the duo together four times during Marrone's two-year tenure in Western New York.
Both have since moved on to new teams in new cities.
Jones is in his second season with the Cardinals. He has produced 10 sacks so far this year.
The veteran pass rusher has shown quite a bit of growth since he left Marrone's Syracuse program several years ago.
Marrone speaks fondly of their time together.
"He was a very mature kid when we had him at Syracuse," Marrone said.
"I was there, [his brother] Arthur was there first and then Chandler. Chandler was always high energy, a really great person. Comes from an outstanding family. Just a good football player. You just saw him get better and better and better every year."
Marrone has kept an eye on Jones in the NFL. It means a lot to him that his former college player has established an NFL career.
In Week 12, Marrone and Jones will reconnect in Arizona as rivals yet again.
Marrone wants Jones to have a successful career. However, he will need to make sure his former player doesn't stand out against his current team this weekend.
"He is outstanding," Marrone said.
"I ran into him in the airport in [Los Angeles] two years ago. We sat there and talked. We were laughing about our times together. I told him how happy I was and how well he was playing in the league. I think you do that when you are a coach. You like to see guys that are successful. I hope I am not that happy on Sunday, obviously."
The Jaguars will face off against the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium at 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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