Q: Talk about your decision to come here and what’s your level of excitement with this organization?
JONES: “I’m extremely excited. I came on my visit, I met with everyone: Coach (Todd) Haley, Coach (Charlie) Weis, (General Manager) Scott Pioli. It just felt like a great situation for me. The offensive line coach, Coach (Bill) Muir, actually, I was with him in Tampa and I had a great relationship with him there. Just being here, this environment, you know, Tony Richardson, I played with him for a couple years in New York and he told me, ‘Look, Kansas City is a great place to play. I played there for a long time. The fans love football, it’s a football town.’ And as a football player, you couldn’t really ask for more. I’m really excited about being here and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Q: How do you see your carries changing coming here with RB
JONES: “You know what, I just got here. I’m here getting to know the guys on the team, getting to know the personnel, everyone around the building, just making myself familiar with everyone. Right now, I’m just working hard in the off-season program, just trying to physically get better. Pretty soon we’ll start watching film and going over the offense and things like that just to get acclimated to all that stuff. But right now, I’m just working hard with the rest of the team. I guess that stuff will play itself out later on.”
Q: The guys in New York say that you were a locker room leader. In what ways do you lead and when you come into a new situation like this, how do you become a leader?
JONES: “Just come in and be yourself. There’s not really any magic to it. You just come in and work hard and lead by example. I’m not a real big ‘rah-rah’ guy. I’m not a guy that’s running around yelling all day, I just work. I love to work, I love to lift weights, I love to watch film. I’m a team player; I like being close with the guys on the team, building a good chemistry, a good nucleus. I think they have that here. Last year we lost a lot of close games and these guys are serious about winning – you can tell by the way they talk, you can just tell by the attitude and the way we’re working. For me personally, it’s an exciting situation for me to come to a new team, a new city, someplace that I’ve never been. This is my first time coming to Kansas City. I’ve played in every stadium except for this stadium, Arrowhead Stadium. It’s just an exciting situation for me.”
Q: What did you see here that you thought would make it a good place for you and what do you see about this organization that makes you believe it’s on its way up?
JONES: “When I went to the Bears in ’04 and ’05, I loved it, the next two years we went to the playoffs. Then I went to the Jets and we were 4-12 the first year. The next two years we didn’t make it to the playoffs and then last year we made it to the AFC Championship Game. I love coming to teams where they have a great nucleus of guys and guys that have actually struggled, because when you struggle through tough seasons, it makes you stronger as a football player, stronger as a person and it builds character. So for me to come into a situation like this and like I said, talking to Coach Haley, Coach Weis and Coach (Maurice) Carthon, you can just tell that they’re committed to winning. They’re committed to bringing guys in that are going to help them win because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, winning football games. Like I said, meeting the guys, some of the guys I’ve met before. A lot of guys I’ve played against before and it’s just encouraging to hear the way they are talking and just to see and feel the energy. You can feel the energy in a building when you get there; I’ve been around long enough to know that. And change for me is nothing new. This is my fifth team. Like I said, just the energy in the building and just the fact they’ve struggled, they’ve been through their struggles and everyone here is ready to turn it around and start winning some football games and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Q: When you were with the Jets, how did you guys turn it around to make the playoffs and do you see any similarities here?
JONES: “It was about the team just coming together, I think that was the most important thing. You can have a lot of good players on a team, but if there is no chemistry, in those close games, you’re not going to be able to come together and find a way to win. I think with the guys here, we have some guys who have had success in this league and we have some guys who haven’t had success. When you mix those together, when you mix losing experience and winning experience together, somehow you can find a solution to win all the time. With those teams, guys that they brought in piece by piece just started bringing leadership qualities and work ethic to the team. The older guys took the lead and the younger guys followed. I think a lot of the guys that they brought in this off-season, I think you can kind of see that happening here.”
Q: How has the running back position evolved over time when it comes to number of carries and wear and tear on the body?
JONES: “I’m not sure if it has changed or not. I think in a 16-game season you need two or three running backs. It is a physical game and we take a pounding. Especially if you have three change of pace guys, guys with different running styles, it makes it hard for the defense to adjust and tougher for them to practice and prepare for you all week . . . As far as a two or three-back system, it just depends on the team and what works best for them.”
Q: Thirty-two can be an advanced age for a running back. How long can you keep up the productivity?
JONES: “I’ve worked as hard as anyone in the league and I take pride in that. I guess you could say the older you get, you start to decline, but I think it is the person, not the age. It is how you prepare and how much you want it. If you still have the desire and the work ethic to win a Super Bowl, that is really the only thing I haven’t done. For me, I can’t give a certain number of years. All I know is that I love the game of football, I love the NFL, I have had a blessed career and I am in a great situation here in Kansas City. I’m happy with it and taking it one year at a time.”
Q: Is it harder playing now that you are a little older?
JONES: “Not for me. If anything it is a little bit easier because I know how to prepare, work during the season and work as hard as I can when I need to as well as fall back a little bit and relax when I need to. That comes with experience.”
Q: What is the perfect role for you here in Kansas City? Do you need a certain number of carries?
JONES: “I don’t think like that. I feel like, by me working as hard as I can during the week to get prepared, I will be in a position to do what I need to help the team win. I have always been a team guy and for me, the more talented guys you have, the greater the chance you have to win. There is no perfect number of carries; it is what you do with each carry you get.”
Q: As far as longevity goes, do you seek out a two-back system?
JONES: “You work hard to go out there and make plays. I’m not really a guy that seeks out any situation. If I feel good about the team and what I can bring to the table, that is where I want to be.”
Q: How close do you feel this team is to winning a Super Bowl?
JONES: “You never know who is going to win a Super Bowl. Any team can win it in a year, it just depends on how the season goes and what breaks you do and don’t get. I know everyone’s goal at the beginning of the year is to win a Super Bowl, all 32 teams, that is what they talk about. I come here and it won’t be any different, you want to win a Super Bowl. That is why you put in all the work and everything that goes into the NFL is so you can have a Super Bowl ring. The guys on this team are really hungry to win and they know the seat that they’re in and they know that here in Kansas City they love football. When you have fans that are like Kansas City fans, from the things that I have heard about Kansas City fans, you want to win for them because they support you and they are there for you. That is really what it is all about; it is about playing for the fans and giving them a winner, making sure that when we are wearing a Chiefs jersey, we represent a team that is going out there playing hard for them and trying to do the right thing and trying to win football games.”
Q: Are you okay with your number of carries being reduced?
JONES: “I’m here to help the team win. Like I said, if I get five carries, I get five carries. If I get 25 carries then I get 25 carries. All I can do at this point is prepare for the season like I have always done. That is how I play and that is how I have looked at my career. I will continue to look at my career like that.”
Q: How does RB Jamaal Charles’ style compare with yours?
JONES: “I think he is a great back. He has great quickness, speed and vision. He is tough and that is really all it takes in this league. It takes heart and he has a lot of heart. I think as far as my style, I try to do everything and be an all-around back. I try to run inside, outside. I try to make sure that I am great at pass protection and running and catching the ball out of the backfield. I think Jamaal does all those things well, too and that is a good situation for our running game.”
Q: Can you talk about working alongside QB
JONES: “Having a guy like Matt, I played against him with the Jets and I got to see him first hand, he has great skills. He seems like a leader and type of quarterback you want to have in the huddle. That was definitely something I was looking forward to. I have been around him now for the past couple weeks and he is a great person, works harder than any quarterback I have ever seen and I have only seen him for two weeks. Just having the opportunity to play with a guy who has experience, who has played in big games and wants to be a great player means a lot to me. It means I have to step my game up, too.”
Q: How much have you paid attention to the other new additions to the Chiefs roster?
JONES: “I pay attention to it. Obviously you want to know who is coming on to your team, especially if they are on the offensive line. The two guys they brought in have won a lot of games and they know what it takes to win, what it takes to lead by example. That is what this league is all about, leading by example. Every time we workout together in the weight room we are pushing each other, I think it is going to help us get that chemistry that I am talking about when we start the mini camps, OTAs and stuff like that.”
Q: Who has been the best quarterback you have played with?
JONES: “The best quarterback I have played with as far as leadership, ability and understanding work ethic is Chad Pennington. He was one of the hardest-working guys I have been around. We were two of the last guys to leave the field pretty much every day. I saw how he worked; he gave everything he had to football. He was a leader and guys respect him because he put it out there on the line every Sunday. As far as the guy I felt most comfortable with, it was definitely Chad Pennington.”