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January 12, 2012

1

Free Agent DB, Reggie Jones Interview

by Max Strauss

Reggie Jones played college football at Idaho and Portland State. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints. He was placed on IR after getting injured in camp. In 2010, he signed with the Redskins and was on the team for preseason. In 2011, he signed with the Vikings Practice Squad, and recently signed a future/reserve contract. This interview was conducted actually before the 2011 NFL season.

Download audio interview with Reggie Jones, click here.

[Interview was conducted in the SUMMER before the 2011 season.]

Announcement : My name is Max Strauss with https://prointerviews.org/, http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/ and http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. I’d like to welcome you to the interview with Reggie Jones. Jones attended the University of Idaho for three years. He then transferred to Portland State University and sat out due to transfer rules. During his senior year, he earned significant playing time. He entered the 2009 NFL Draft, but went undrafted. He signed with the New Orleans Saints. He was put on IR after injuring his Achilles tendon in training camp. He still earned a Super Bowl ring at the end of the year. He then was on the Saints’ practice squad during most of the 2010 season, then signed to the Washington Redskins active roster. [Since, he signed with the Vikings in the middle of the season. Just recently, he signed a future/reserves contract with the Vikings.] Here is the interview with Reggie Jones.

Strauss : How do you connect to your fans?

Jones : I just joined twitter as of February. I think that’s been the greatest place for me to connect. I’m always tweeting, and they’re tweeting me. We have so many common interests. We talk about the most random things, whether its food, football, or the weather… I just try to be accessible to them.

Strauss : How did you start playing football?

Jones : According to my mom, she said that I wanted to play since I started Walking.  At age six, I started playing pop-warner football in Las Vegas,  I played safety, punt returner, and kick returner. I just loved playing football. Whenever I wasn’t playing, I wanted to be playing. If I wasn’t on the field, I was playing Tecmo Bowl on the regular Nintendo. I love playing the game of football. I still do. As a matter of fact, in high school, I carried my football with me everyday. In college it was the same thing. I just love the game.

Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?

Jones : I won two games in three years. haha. I moved from Federal Way, Washington to Kent, Washington. There were four schools in our area: Kentwood, Kentridge, Kent Lake, and Kent Meridian. I knew nothing about the city of Kent. I also didn’t know Kent Meridian was considered the weakest of the four schools in football. I asked my grandma, ‘Can I transfer schools? Can I go somewhere else?’ She told me, ‘No’ and that if I’m good; scouts will find me wherever I was at. So with her telling me that, I tried to make the most out of the situation and remained loyal to my school. I stayed there for four years, and we only won two games. Every time we played a game, I tried to turn it into a highlight film to make sure that I had the other coaches’ and players respect around the league.

Strauss : What was the transition like to Portland State?

Jones: I went to the University of Idaho for my first three years, where I was coached by Nick Holt for two seasons, and Dennis Erickson for my Junior year. Then with a third coaching change and everything, I left to Portland State. I had to sit out the first year because of the transfer rule. Coach Glanville was my coach for my Senior season at Portland State. The Defensive Back Coach {Alundis Brice} moved over to Portland State as well. When they told me to come over there, I had to prove myself in the offseason. I went out for un official workouts in the summer with a chip on my shoulder, and kind-of showed off to the guys, so there was a buzz about me before the official school year started . When I finally got there, I got my scholarship. During that red-shirt year the coaches had me playing Wide Receiver. They felt it was a good way for me to prepare to become a two-way player for the upcoming season.  I knew I had to go out and ball like my life depended on it, because it did! I had to do everything in one year, just to make sure I got to be where I wanted to be, which was in the NFL.  That one year I went out and, put all my eggs in a basket, and my season was successful.

Strauss : What positions did you play in college ball?

Jones : I played Cornerback Punt Returner and Kick Returner at Idaho. When I got to Portland State, they put me at Receiver, Cornerback and Punt Returner.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from playing at Portland State?

Jones : I would say driving up to play Washington State. It was a big game Pac-10 opponent with a chance for me to shine on a big stage. I’ve played them every year, (being that I went to U of I, and the two schools are eight miles apart), but this time was different. Just driving back up to the Palouse felt different. Being on a big time stage and being able to perform on that level was a great experience. I had two int’s that game and a pass break up. That was the game I needed to show scouts I could play with higher competition being that I came from a small school.

Strauss : Your senior season, you had a interception return for a touchdown, if you remember, what was that like?

Jones : It was cool, I guess… It was fun! haha. When the ball was in my hand, I tried to score so, I mean I don’t know how to put that into words. It was what it was supposed to be, an interception to the house! haha

Strauss: What was your draft day experience like?

Jones: My agent told me that I could possibly go second day. I had a few people over. It was just some family and close friends and we BBQ’d (This was on day two). We were waiting around, and I kept seeing all these names going up on the screen. I was thanking God and hoping that a team would call my name. I kept seeing different names and different teams going . I was thinking, “Man, this is really kind of embarrassing. I have everybody over here watching and wanting me to get drafted.” And  as you know…I didn’t!

Right after the draft was over, I kind-of broke down for a minute. I didn’t show my tears to anyone, but I broke down just a little bit.  I was thinking that my dream might not come true. I got a call a little later from my agent and he said, ‘The Saints are on the phone. They want to sign you they want to bring you in. I talked to the coach. He asked me “Are you ready to go?” I was like, ‘Yeah!’ and I hung up the phone. I broke down again, but this time I just ran down the block. My family said, ‘Where are you going?’ I couldn’t talk to anybody, I was filled with so much emotion. 

I knew all I needed was an opportunity, Whether I got drafted as the number one pick, or didn’t  get drafted at all. The only thing I wanted was an opportunity. And here I am now!

Strauss : What was it like your rookie year to have that injury in training camp and set you back a little?

Jones : It hurt. It wasn’t the actual Achilles tear that hurt me, it was knowing that everything felt like it came crashing down all in one moment. I’m back-peddling, and I break for the interception, and my Achilles pops. In that one moment, I thought, maybe it’s my ankle. I heard the pop. When I found out, that it was the Achilles, I was like, “Oh my god” I never had any injury to that extent. They wheeled me off to the training room. All I kept saying and repeating was, “IM NOT DONE, I’M NOT DONE.” Every coach that came in, I told them, ‘I’M NOT DONE.’ The players know the type of worker I am, so I’m sure they believed in me when I said, “I’m not done.” I kept saying this because I knew I was going to work hard to get back. It hurt because it was the day before we left for our first preseason game. I wasn’t able to go out and show what I could do on the field. I knew I had a very big uphill battle to conquer.

The next year my Achilles wasn’t 100%, but it was good enough for me to go out and play. I was put on the practice squad. I was thinking, “well obviously, I’m not at 100%, but I’m good enough to help this team, and still contribute.” I went to practice, and pushed it to the limits everyday. Each week I ran routes as a the opposing teams #1 receiver, because they were thinking about converting me to receiver in New Orleans as well. I was running routes, playing offense, playing defense, and returning kickoffs. I did all of this to better my team, but also to make sure I was strong whenever they called me up. Which is where I am at now. READY TO GO!

Strauss : What was the Super Bowl like?

Jones : The Super Bowl was crazy. That was one of my top three experiences in life. Having my son was number one, but the Super Bowl, I can’t think of a feeling… The whole week of preparation and then, actually winning it all was amazing. The entire year Gregg [Williams] had me doing weekly projects for the defense. He would have me scout  the opposing  teams and break it down. He’d have me present it to the defense as well. I felt like I was part of the team that year, even with my injury. Instead of just going home, I was a part of everything that we were doing. To actually win the Super Bowl and to be on the field pretty much as a coach without the title, was great. The confetti, the cheers, the cries, all of the ‘Who Dats’, everything. It was just great!

Strauss : What was the transition like to the Redskins?

Jones : Like I said, I was on the practice squad with the Saints, all year. I was going up against one of the best offenses in the NFL everyday. Brees, Meachem, Colston, Bush, Shockey, etc…  To deal with their caliber of talent everyday during practice,  made the transition a lot smoother and a lot easier for me to get to Washington D.C. I learned so much from Gregg Williams who was actually the coach in Washington before he came here. Combining both of those, it made things so much easier. I still have a chip on my shoulder! I’m ready to go in there and dominate! I want to do my thing, lead by example, and help get this team where we’re supposed to be.

Strauss : You mentioned Gregg Williams, the Defensive Coordinator of the Saints, what’s he like?

Jones : I love Gregg [Williams]. Gregg is probably the best coach I’ve ever had, simply because he pushes you to your limits and further. He doesn’t believe you have a cap; that you can’t push further. He always teaches the little things about the game. I remember the first thing he ever told our entire defense, “I want when you leave here to be able to say, I learned something more about football that I didn’t know before you coached me.’ I learned a lot more. I learned so much more with Gregg coaching me.

Strauss : What are your plans for next year?

Jones : Whenever next year starts, I plan to be the starting Cornerback. I’m going to work as hard as I need to work. That’s what I’m doing now. I want and will be the starting Corner for the Washington Redskins, and lead by example.

Strauss : What do you think the three keys to your success are?

Jones : My three keys to success would be hard work, determination, and just pure will.

Strauss : What advice do you have to rookies especially going through this offseason, and the ones who are undrafted?

Jones : It’s tough enough to be undrafted, but for these guys, I feel a little more for them. They thought they would be able to sign after the draft, and get a contract. I’d tell them, keep grinding and working everyday as if they are going to have to start tomorrow because you never know when we’re going to start up again, and you’re going to have to be more than ready. You’re not going to have the same amount of chances that the first round draft pick has, so you have to be ready to go when your number is called.

Strauss : If you could describe yourself as any ice cream flavor, what would you be and why?

Jones : Hahaha. Ice cream flavor… Hmmm… Mint Chocolate Chip. Haha. The reason is because that’s my wife’s favorite ice cream. I don’t really eat ice cream though. I just like how it sounds. There’s a lot to it. haha

Strauss : For someone in college, in high school, or even in pop warner, who plays football, what’s the best advice you can give them if they want to make it into the NFL?

Jones : Hard work. Always work hard. Never think that you’re done, and that you’ve reached your maximum potential because even when you’ve reach your so-called, ‘maximum potential’, you can push yourself even further. Just continue to work hard, and continue to try to better yourself.

Strauss : Thank you so much for your time Reggie. I really appreciate it.

Jones : No problem, Max. Stay tuned.

Announcement : Thank you for listening to the interview with Reggie Jones. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you leave your comments below as well! Please check out my website https://prointerviews.org/ for other interviews, “LIKE” the Facebook page at http://facebook.com/ProInterviews/, and follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/ProInterviews/. Please subscribe to me on YouTube at http://youtube.com/ProInterviews/ Thanks again for listening! Stay tuned for more, and feel free to contact me!

->Here are the personal questions that Reggie Jones answered.<-

Strauss : If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

Jones : I would meet P. Diddy because I like his swag. Some people don’t like him. People say he’s cocky, but I think he is one of the greatest entrepreneurs. He made something out of nothing. I like people like that.

Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?

Jones : If I never had the opportunity to play, I would either be a personal trainer or try to go into music, which I’m doing now. I like working with people. I would definitely run some [football] camps if I couldn’t play.

Strauss : After the NFL, what do you plan on doing?

Jones : After, I plan on sports-anchoring, like ESPN-type stuff. Just getting out there and still staying in the game. I also wouldn’t mind coaching. The hours the coaches have to put in are a bit hectic though. haha That might make me think twice about doing that.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite TV show?

Jones : I would say, Chloe and Lamar I guess. I used to like the Kendra show with Hank Baskett.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite movie of all time?

Jones : TROY!  It’s kind of funny that that’s my favorite movie, because I ended up tearing my achilles. And the warriors name is Achilles. So I grew even closer to the movie.

Strauss : Do you have a favorite type of pie?

Jones : Nah… I’m not really too into sweets. But I guess if I had to pick one, I’d say apple… I guess. haha

Strauss : Thank you for your time on the personal questions Reggie.

Jones : No problem.

CLICK IT!

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. christian
    Jan 12 2012

    great interview

    Reply

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