During training camp, Jacoby Jones and I spoke about his newfound home in Baltimore. Plagued by dropped passes during his five-year tenure in Houston, Jones was eager for a fresh start with the Ravens.
“One man’s trash is the next man’s treasure,” Jones told me at the time.
Through his first nine games with the Ravens, Jones has proven to be anything but trash. He’s frequently found the end zone and celebrates like a leprechaun that found a pot of gold.
Four games ago, Jones was awarded the role of primary kick returner after Deonte Thompson fumbled the football on a kickoff to begin the second half in a 9-6 win in Kansas City.
On Sunday, Jones returned a Sebastian Janikowski kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown – his second kick return for a score this season.
Jones’ contributions on special teams have been remarkable – and historic.
No player in NFL history had returned multiple kickoffs over 105 yards during their career; Jones has accomplished that feat in under a month. In his first game as the primary kick returner against the Dallas Cowboys, Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown.
Jones’ celebrations when finding the end zone are almost as exciting as the scoring itself. His wacky dances give fans a glimpse into his personality as Jones is nothing short of a character in the locker room and around his teammates.
On offense, Jones hasn’t played as much as many expected. Despite being listed as the Ravens’ third wide receiver, Jones saw the fourth-most snaps among wide receivers Sunday against Oakland. Tandon Doss was third with 26 snaps, as Jones played in four fewer.
Regardless of how little Jones is on the field for the Ravens offense, he tries to make an immediate impact and doesn’t complain about his playing time.
“I just play my role,” Jones said. “When they say ‘Jacoby get in’, I get in. I just play my role.”
His speed and big-play ability could make a case for Jones to see increased offensive playing time. Despite only catching two passes on Sunday, Jones picked up 54 yards, most of which came from a 47-yard pass from Joe Flacco in the second-quarter.
Jones is a team player and realizes he’ll primarily be utilized on special teams. He isn’t conceited about his abilities, but realizes there are few people on a football field faster than him, which makes his role as the primary kick returner even more enjoyable.
“When I was young, coach told me ‘you’re built to run’ so I can’t complain about running. I just do it,” he said.
As the Ravens started their second half of the season with a convincing win over the Raiders, Jones knows that sticking to the basics of Ravens football is what the team needs to do in order to win.
Or, as only Jones could put it, “offense rolls, defense holds and special teams stay special.”
His efforts have already become historic, which means the Ravens were right by signing some of the Texans’ “trash.” Jones he’s been anything but that so far in Baltimore.