Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Jaguars figure 2 Greg Jones better than 1
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Greg Jones, meet Greg Jones.
The Joneses crossed paths for the first time this week in Jacksonville's locker room, the veteran fullback nicknamed "The Bull" exchanging pleasantries with the second-year linebacker probably best known for proposing to his girlfriend on the field after the Super Bowl.
The meeting was a little strange, and being together surely will lead to confusion in the mail room.
"It's the first time being on the same team as a guy with the same name," said the linebacker Jones, who was signed Monday. "It's pretty cool. Obviously, I know a good amount about him and his game. I have a lot of respect for his career."
The linebacker was a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2011. He played in all 16 regular-season games, starting five of them, and was a key contributor on special teams. And he has a Super Bowl ring, which he earned the same night he asked his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, to marry him on the confetti-covered field inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
But the Giants waived Jones during final cuts, parting ways with the former Michigan State standout.
"I felt like I was improving in camp," Jones said. "My first preseason game wasn't my best at a new position, but I felt like I improved from there on and I got better every day and I was learning. Coach said it was a numbers game and they needed help at other positions."
Jones figured someone else would pick him up, but he waited more than two months for the phone to ring.
The Jaguars (1-8) offered him a workout, and Jones obliged, but general manager Gene Smith couldn't sign him right away because of concerns at receiver. But Jacksonville eventually came through, offering Jones a contract after his second visit.
"That was a little bit of a roller coaster, but it worked out," Jones said. "I'm adjusting pretty well. This whole thing has been a blessing for me. Now I'm just focused on learning this defense, contributing and helping the team win."
With linebacker Clint Session (multiple concussions) on the physically unable to perform list and fellow starter Daryl Smith (groin) on injured reserve, Jones should get a chance to contribute in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars can only hope he plays as well as the fullback Greg Jones.
The former Florida State star has been an integral part of Jacksonville's rushing attack since the team selected him in the second round in the 2004 NFL draft.
Jones paved the way for Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, and many believe Jacksonville's struggling ground game has something to do with Jones missing the last two games because of a thigh injury.
Jones hopes to return for Sunday's game at Houston (8-1).
In the meantime, he has a new teammate to share stories with.
"I always knew of him, of course, playing in the NFL and knowing there's another Greg Jones out there," the fullback said. "But it's kind of weird right now, us being in the same locker room."
Even though they hadn't met until Monday, there was no way to avoid each other before.
When the Jaguars were given a demo of Madden13 during training camp, players got a kick out of a little mistaken identity. Instead of seeing a picture of their Greg Jones next to his bio page, they got the New York Giants linebacker.
Before that, at the ESPY Awards, the Giants' Greg Jones was introduced as Greg Jones from Florida State.
"It was funny," the linebacker said. "That's happened a couple times, where I've been out and people have said my name and they think I'm him. I doubt if it's the other way around. He's a little bit bigger than me."
Maybe so, but even the fullback's agent has inadvertently texted the other Greg Jones.
"It hasn't happened a lot, but it's happened a few times here and there," the linebacker said.
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