Heading into the last weeks of the 2010 regular season, Reggie Jones seemed to be in a pretty good spot. He was on the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints, a playoff team that everyone assumed would be poised to make a Super Bowl run. His wife had recently given birth to his first kid, a son. He even had a Super Bowl ring from his time on the Saints’ injured reserve the season before.
Then the Redskins called and wanted to sign him to their active roster, which put Jones in an interesting quandary.
“It was tough,” he told me shortly after he arrived here. “Should I stay in New Orleans, be comfortable, ride through the playoffs, maybe get another Super Bowl Ring? You know, have the chance to be known as two-time champion Reggie Jones. Or I could go to a team that wants to play me and have an opportunity to turn the program around. To help turn a program around.”
Jones gave the issue some serious thought, and even sought advice from a source that should be familiar to Redskins fans. “I talked to [Saints defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams, who was D-coordinator here a few years ago. And he was like, ‘You know, it’s a great opportunity for you. I’m not going to hold you back. We appreciate everything you did for us here.’ He gave me a list of guys that I should talk to that he’s good friends with and I guess he put in a good word for me up here as well.”
So Mr.Jones came to Washington, leaving New Orleans on good terms. “You know how this business is,” Jones said. “You’re here one day, the next day something happens.” (I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the Saints didn’t win a single game after allowing Jones to leave, suffering a meaningless regular season loss and one of the most stunning playoff upsets of all time.)
Jones was inactive for his only game here, the 2010 season finale, which seems to imply that the cornerback was brought to town to see if he could help the team in 2011. It’s a big task, something that will take a lot of work — but if there’s one thing Jones has learned in his time in the NFL, it’s the importance of work.
“My first year (2009), I had no idea about anything with the NFL,” Jones said. “You always picture, get to the NFL and you’re set. I didn’t realize that it was so grueling. And when I got injured, tore my Achilles, I didn’t have that pressure of the cuts that year. Because the coaches had seen a lot in me, and they kept me around.” Not making the active roster in 2010 only increased Jones’ understanding of how much work it takes to be successful at this level.
“The cut that came that placed me on the practice squad,” Jones said, “I was just like, you know, I’m gonna do what I have to do. I’m gonna pay my dues, basically. I knew, in the meantime, my time was going to come.”
There’s an entire offseason between now and Jones’ next chance at his time, but he did offer this preview of how he sees his style of play: “I think of myself as a chameleon,” Jones said, “because I try to take bits and pieces from different people. Even from coming here, watching D-Hall do some of the things he does, watching [Phillip Buchanon] doing some of the things he does, I try to take bits and pieces. In New Orleans, I watched Tracy Porter, who was more athletic. Watched Jabari [Greer], who was a technician. So I just kinda take bits and pieces of everyone’s games and apply it to mine.”
Tags: 2011 offseason, reggie jones
Posted in General | No Comments »