Second year running back Taiwan Jones returned to the practice field on Sunday and spoke with SBReport.net and members of the media afterwards.
Video and the transcript from the interview can be found below:
It’s been a minute, I’ve been rehabbing for some time now so it feels good to be back out there.
Important obviously with a hamstring to be ready full go, and it looked like you were. Were you pretty much looking for it last night? Did you know you’d be cleared today?
Yea, they told me yesterday during rehab that I was getting a chance to go today.
It looked like on one of the first carries, I know its a non-contact practice, but it looked like your helmet got bashed and you got bounced around pretty good. Did it almost feel good to get bounced around a little bit?
I think that was just my defense welcoming me back.
Was that Phillip [Wheeler] welcoming you?
Yea, it was number 52. I made sure I made a note of that.
How important is it to be able to play these next exhibition games for you?
It’s real important for me. I haven’t played a game since last year so I’m excited and I can’t wait to get the feel for it and get my reps with the ones or two, or wherever it may be. I’m just excited to be back.
Were you able to cut it loose completely out there?
Definitely. One of the biggest things that the coaches made sure they told me was that I need to learn how to practice, meaning, shutting it down when I needed to and not trying to outrun everybody. Today that’s what I just tried to work on, not get too excited and try to do too much but stay within myself.
How hard is that for you?
Its pretty hard because I’m pretty competitive and I wanted to show my speed and my effort on every play, but at this level you’ve got to practice smarter.
So do you try to use your normal acceleration at the start and then don’t kick into that second gear you have when you break into the free?
The defense and offense know when you’re free. You just got to go through your normal progressions and don’t try to strain outside your body for a pointless play.
How many gears do you have? 2 or 3 or… ?
Oh, I got a few of them, but I try to just keep it in 2nd gear with this defense.
So, how do you do that when you play in a game because the natural inclination in a game is there is no backing off?
That’s why you have to practice it and learn your body and get comfortable with it. You just got to practice.