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Insider Blog: Day of First Impressions

Posted Apr 12, 2010

Thomas Jones may have won himself a lot of new fans in KC after his first local media session

If we’ve learned anything this off-season about the 2010 Kansas City Chiefs, it has to be the stark contrast in the way the team’s on-field leadership is building in comparison to previous seasons.

Gone are most of those expected to serve as leaders prior to the 2008 season, just before the regime change in Kansas City. The same can be said for 2009, a season in which it was ever-apparent that it would be one of transition. Today the Chiefs are in a much different place and the past two weeks, highlighted with an impressive first impression today, are a testament to that.

Over the past two weeks the Chiefs have marched four different players up to the podium to address the local media and each player has carried a common theme of leadership with them. First up was WR Chris Chambers.

Chambers, a man who didn’t even join the Chiefs until the middle of the 2009 season, made it clear that he understands his role as the veteran receiver in a group of largely unproven youngsters. Specifically, Chambers addressed the importance of helping Dwayne Bowe take the next stop in 2010, along with his own self-growth for 2010, during his time at the podium.

Next we heard from CB Brandon Flowers, the blossoming young star of Kansas City’s defense. He spoke about taking a bigger leadership role this season when it comes to establishing the identity that will define the Chiefs defense now and into the future.

Last week, it was QB Matt Cassel and his plans for marked improvement from year-one to year-two of his Chiefs career. He’s spent the majority of his winter in Kansas City working out, watching tape and discussion offensive philosophy with Todd Haley and Charlie Weis.

On Monday morning, the fourth Chief took the podium this off-season. This Chief, however, was one that local fans had only heard about as only a few have seen him play live. Arrowhead Stadium, as it turns out, is the only NFL city in which RB Thomas Jones has not played in during his 10-year NFL career.

Today was a day of first impressions and the reviews have circling around Jones have been overwhelmingly positive. Everything that had been rumored in regards to Jones turned out to be reality, at least at the podium, on Monday. The guy was sharp, impressive and appears ready to lead. He’s a stark contrast to anything that the Chiefs have had in recent years when it comes to a veteran player who is expected to play the role of backfield elder.

“Leading by example,” Jones stated. “That’s what this league is all about, leading by example.”

Jones enters Kansas City carrying the reputation as a top-notch locker room presence. Many Jets fans are adamant that Jones is the glue that helped keep their team together last year, ultimately resulting in a very successful and somewhat unexpected run into the AFC Championship Game. Jones’ third-most rushing yards in the league didn’t hurt too much either.

A few weeks ago, the Jet’s organization found it necessary to take out a full-page ad in the Kansas City Star’s sports section in honor of Jones contributions to that franchise. For Jones, his leadership style won’t change in Kansas City. It’s all about being true to who he is.

“You just come in and be yourself,” Jones said in regards to taking a leadership role for a new franchise. “There isn’t any magic to it. You just come in and work hard and lead by example. I’m not a big rah-rah guy or a guy who is going to run around yelling all day. I’m just work.

“I love to work,” Jones continued. “I love to lift weights. I love to watch film. I’m a team player and I like to be close to the guys on the team, building team chemistry and a good nucleus. “

Working is exactly what Jones is doing. Right now, he’s not concerned about how the carries will be divided between him and the Chiefs most explosive offensive weapon Jamaal Charles.

“I signed here to help the team win,” Jones said. “If I get five carries, then I get five carries. If I get 25 carries, then I get 25 carries. All I can do at this point is to prepare for the season like I always have. Let the chips fall where they may. That’s how I’ve looked at my career.”

Leadership and unselfishness seem to be an unspoken theme with the Chiefs new additions. When it came to first impressions, Jones hit a home run Monday morning. He just got a heck of a lot more fans in Kansas City.

Be sure to check out the full video of Jones’ first press conference as a Kansas City Chief right here on kcchiefs.com.

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