Thomas Jones was brought in to the Kansas City Chiefs, to add a hard-working, veteran presence, who could also be productive at a key position and lead by example for young star Jamaal Charles. The approach is similar to that taken by the New England Patriots’ regime that included current Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and coaches Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel. As he heads into his eleventh NFL season, Jones is joining his fifth different team in the league. After a failed stint with the Arizona Cardinals, the former seventh overall draft choice out of Virginia had a light go on in one season in Tampa Bay, which lead to successful three-year runs with the Bears and Jets. At 32 (as of next Thursday) and with over 2,500 NFL touches, Jones has a lot of wear and tear on his mostly healthy NFL career.
But even after all that experience, Thomas Jones was not prepared with what greeted him at practice on Wednesday. Assistant coach Maurice Carthon wheeled a Porta-Potty on to the field and instructed his players to enter it one-by-one. Somewhat ironically, the players were in there to work on not dropping anything – in this case passes. After a player entered and shut the door, another coach would fling the door open and Carthon would launch a pass in the direction of the Porta-Potty. Genius? A little disgusting? Both? Once they found out it was clean and they were just working on their games as opposed to some twisted public hazing, players seemed to genuinely appreciate the drill for its help with hand-eye coordination.
Thomas Jones joined Nick Wright on KCSP in Kansas City to discuss his role as a veteran leader on the Chiefs, his thoughts on fellow running back Jamaal Charles, his policy of not setting personal goals, Charlie Weis’ offense and his experience practicing in a Porta-Potty.
On his role as a veteran presence on the Chiefs:
“It’s just something that kind of comes natural. I don’t really think about it. I’m here to help win football games. The way you do that is by working hard in practice, working hard in the weight room, doing all the little things, watching film. Those are the kind of things I try to bring to the team. I’m just one of the guys on the team. Whatever I can bring, whether it’s experience, leadership, leading by example, those are the things I try to do.”
On Jamaal Charles:
“I watched him last year. I think he’s a really good back. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to play with him. Just by being around him, watching some film, taking some stuff from his game and trying to add it to my game and vice versa. It’s a good situation for both of us.”
On if he has any personal goals for the season:
“I don’t really have any personal goals. I never set any personal goals. I just go out there and play as hard as I can and let the chips fall where they may. That’s how I’ve always played. I like to do extra things. My thing is, personally, I feel like if I out-work the guy during the week, I give myself a better chance to win on Sunday.”
On learning the Chiefs offense:
“It’s not really complex. But there’s enough volume of stuff where we can keep people on their heels.”
And on if he had ever caught a pass in a porta-john:
“No, no. That was my first time. When he first mentioned it, I kind of looked at him. He said, ‘Why you looking at me like that?’ But when we did the drill, it was one of those drills where you just have to really react. The door closes and then opens. The ball’s right in your face. You have to really focus and look the ball in. That’s something you have to do on the field too. Luckily, there wasn’t anything in there.”