Thomas Jones Talks Jets

On Wednesday Kansas City running back Thomas Jones addressed the media.  Here are some of his quotes about the New York Jets.

On whether he is happy to be able to see his old friends and teammates this week…

Oh yeah. I always have love for New York City and the New York Jets. It was a just a great time that I had there, great friendships that I made there. Coming back, I think I need 11 yards to pass Eddie George and Tiki Barber on the all-time list and that’d be really special for me, especially playing with Tiki in college and watching him in the pros, kind of growing up admiring him, from Virginia and playing with him at Virginia, so coming back to New York and hopefully being able to do that as well. That’s something special. So, I look forward to it. Seeing Coach (Rex) Ryan and my running backs coach Anthony Lynn and coach (Brian) Schottenheimer and all of those guys that I had good relationships with.

On whether he was surprised that the Jets let him go…

Not really. Business is a huge part of the NFL, as well as football. And I wasn’t surprised because I knew it was possibly going to happen before the season started and that’s why I didn’t go to the offseason program, because I wanted to just secure my last year there, but it happened for a reason. I ended up out here in Kansas City. I’m enjoying being out in Kansas City around my team and teammates, and the city. This is just another experience for me to talk about when I’m done playing football.

On whether he felt that 2009 was his best season…

I felt like, obviously, the numbers, 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns, it was probably my best year. I went to the Pro Bowl the year before that and I didn’t have the same type of numbers. Well, I had 1300 yards and 15 touchdowns, but rushing yards, that (2009) was my best year. I had a lot of fun that year. We went to the AFC Championship game, playing in New York City and the whole buzz that came with that. It was just a great, great experience, something I’ll always remember.

On if he enjoys seeing Shonn Greene succeed…

Oh, yes. I love to see young backs like Shonn succeed and do well. We had a great relationship. When he came in his rookie year, I tried my best to help him as much as possible, him and Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller. I felt like that was my obligation, being an older player. Especially because he played running back, I tried to lead by example through working hard in practice, finishing off runs (and) watching extra film. Those are the kinds of things that I tried to help him with and he has responded. He had a great year his rookie year. His first year in the playoffs, he helped us get to the AFC Championship game with some of the big games he had. I keep up with him now. I still text him before the season and wish him the best of luck. I enjoy seeing him have success.

On if it makes him feel good that Jets players still talk about his leadership…

Yes, that’s the most important thing is what guys say about you when you leave. Despite the fact that I still wanted to play in New York and I didn’t want to leave, I loved playing with my teammates there just like I loved playing with my teammates in Chicago, I just understood that was part of the business. For guys to still think that much of me and still have that much respect for me means a whole lot to me.

On what he misses most about being a Jet…

I think I just miss being around the team (and) being at the facility. That was one of the best facilities in the league. I miss being in Morristown where we lived in Florham Park. I loved that area. It was the perfect area for me. It was closer to Virginia for my family to come up. When I needed to go shopping, I know (to go) to Short Hills Mall (laughter), right down the street. If I wanted to go to the city, I was only 30 (or) 45 minutes away. I think (I miss) just my teammates and the environment. I think it was just a great place to play football.

On Mark Sanchez’s growth since he left…

You know what, I think Mark has done a great job. There’s a lot of pressure being a quarterback in New York City. I think everyone knows that and I think he’s done a great job. He’s still a young quarterback and he’s still learning. He has a lot of pressure on him but I think he’s responded well. He’s a really, really good kid. He’s smart, he works really hard, he has unbelievable ability and it was an honor for me to play with him his rookie year. He took us to the AFC Championship game as a rookie, that’s really, really hard to do. He knows I wish him the best. We had a lot of fun joking around with him the whole season. I tried to be a friend to him and kind of an older brother to him as well. I’ve been through a lot of situations, and I just try to give him advice through the good and tough times. I hope he remembers those times, because I do. He’s a really, really good kid.

On what he did to help Sanchez…

Just keeping him focused on the next game and not being too hard on himself. He’s kind of a perfectionist and I’m a perfectionist, so I know how it is. You’re your worst critic. So for me I just tried to keep him focused for the next game and try to prepare him for what he was going to see going into the playoffs. I tried to just paint a picture for him of what it was going to be like and just what to expect, just to try to make it a little bit easier of a transition for him. But like I said, he took us to the AFC Championship game and then the next season they go to the AFC Championship game. So, he’s a successful quarterback, he’s a winner.

On moving on from New York…

I had 100 yards in the Super Bowl and didn’t want to leave Chicago and wanted to stay there. I loved playing with those guys there. We had great relationships, great chemistry, but I was traded. That’s the business side. Some people look at it as an opportunity to be bitter, or an opportunity to say, ‘When we play them again, I’m going to try to have a good game.’ I don’t look at it like that. I look at (as) every opportunity that I’ve had in my life is a blessing. To play in Chicago, a great city like that and to have success there and play in the Super Bowl. It’s a blessing. I thank Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith for giving me the opportunity, the same thing with Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum for trading for me, and Eric Mangini giving me the opportunity to come to New York City, and have an opportunity to play for the Jets. In my house I have five jerseys hanging up from five teams that I’ve played for. Some people look at it as teams that got rid of me, but I look at as teams I can say I played for in the NFL. It’s a kid’s dream to play for one team, and I’ve been able to play for five. I just look at it as a blessing that I’ve had the opportunity to even play there.

On the importance of having a dominating running game during Sanchez’s rookie season…

I think that any offense, it’s important to have a running game. You have to be balanced. It’s kind of hard because as a running back you want to get 20, 30 carries a game. But you have to play complementary football, for the most part, to win in this league, especially down the stretch and in the playoffs. You have to play complementary football. So, I think it was important for us to run the ball, but he made the plays that he needed to make, he made the big throws that he needed to make, he managed the game well. He really stepped his game up in the playoffs against Cincinnati and San Diego and at Indianapolis, he stepped his game up to another level and he answered the call. So I thought we played complementary football in that playoff run.

On if he has spoken to coach Ryan…

No, I haven’t talked to him. I haven’t had the chance to talk to him. But it’ll be great to see him. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. I loved playing for Rex. I missed the offseason program, but as soon as I came back through the minicamps, as soon as I met Rex, we hit it off instantly. He’s my kind of coach and I think I was his kind of player. I wish him the best of luck too. To have a coach like him, he’s almost like a player. You want to go out there and run into a brick wall for him just because he would do the same thing for you. He’s a special coach, he’s a special guy. I think he respected me and respected what I did for the organization and I respected what he brought to the organization.

On if he has spoken to Plaxico Burress…

Yes, I talked to him actually this offseason when he was released. He doesn’t live too far from me in Florida and we have the same trainer. So, I’m extremely happy for him. To go through the things he’s gone through and still be able to mentally focus and go out there and play football is a testament to just his hard work and his desire and determination. We came out the same year in the draft, he was one pick after me. So, I’ve known Plaxico since high school. We’re both from Virginia and I wish him the best of luck. He’s a great receiver, a great athlete and a great person. If anybody wants to learn from anybody, they should learn from him.

On if he is surprised how much Burress has left in the tank…

No, I’m not surprised. We had been training and we trained really hard in the offseason. Every morning, we were in there at eight o’clock and we were there for three hours training. I’m not surprised at all. He puts the work in. The work that he puts in, it pays off during the season.

Comments on this entry are closed.