Posts Tagged ‘Donald jones’

Being Donald Jones: Ankle Problems And Must-Win Situations

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Donald Jones missed four weeks earlier this season with an ankle injury.  being a proud player and hard worker, he beat the projected deadline to return a couple of weeks ago.  However, Jones has again hurt the same ankle and this time there is damage to new ligaments.

“I was placed on injured reserve last week and that means I am done for the year”, said Jones Thursday night.  ”It was the same ankle and i injured everything that was healing plus one more ligament.  It would be another three to four games before I could realistically get back, so I am done for the season.”

The Buffalo Bills lost, 28-24, to the Jets last weekend.  The loss drops the Bills to 5-6 for the season and put a serious gash in their playoff chances.  Being 1-5 on the road is something this young team can concentrate on getting better at next season.

“The mindset of the team right now is just focusing on trying to get a win.  Everybody is banged up.  We signed talented guys to replace injured players, but when you bring in guys from somewhere else, it effects the whole system, it’s real hard to get used to a new system for them.”

Jones said that he still goes to practice and is doing all he can to get better, but that he will not approach it [injury] the way he did the first time.

“I want to get back to 100%”, said Jones.  ”Last time, I came back not at 100%, so right now, I am focused on letting the ankle heal the right way.”

The Bills face the Titans this Sunday at 1.  The good news is that it is a home game, and the Bills do well at home [5-1].  The bad news that if the Bills lose, the playoffs will be almost impossible to get to.  Fear not Bills fans, when healthy, this team can play with anyone.  Once Chan Gailey piles up some depth and these young Bills age a year, they could mover forward, real fast.

” I do not travel with the team to road games, but I went to the Jets game because I went home for Thanksgiving.”

Being Donald Jones: Going To Miami, Picking Up The Pieces, and Go Penguins!

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The Buffalo Bills are at a point in their season where they have achieved some things, but are more disappointed in what they have failed to do.  Last week, the Bills were hammered by the Dallas Cowboys, 44-7, and Donald Jones says that his team will head into Miami ready to play.  Jones says he is back up to a normal workload following an injury absence of four games, saying that his leg is as good as it is going to be for the rest of the season.

“We are having a great week of practice,” said Jones.  “Our guys understand that we are only one game out of first place and that we need to have a better effort than we did last week.”

The Bills suffered a key blow recently when starting center, Eric Wood, went down for the season with a torn right ACL.  Jones talked about how big of a loss Wood is to his team.

“It is a huge loss for us.  He was like the leader of the offensive line, the leader of the offense in many ways.  He kept guys positive in the huddle and kept everyone focused.  It hurts to lose him.”

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The Bills head to Miami to face the Dolphins this weekend.  Jones talked about the matchup and the expectations.

“We have to do a better job executing, finishing drives and getting points on the scoreboard”, said Jones.  ”They [Miami] run a lot of zone schemes, we have to find the open spots in those zones and make plays.

Jones, a Youngstown State University grad, wanted to wish his alma mater good luck for the week as they continue to charge forward seeking a playoff berth.

“I hope they can win and make it to the playoffs.  It should be a pumped-up crowd this weekend.”

Being Donald Jones: Working Hard To Get Back, Big One Against The Jets

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Donald Jones has missed a couple of Buffalo Bills games with a leg injury.  He has been working hard trying to get back, but doubts he will be ready to go when his team takes on the New York Jets in a huge game for both teams.  Jones can be activated for the game, but is unsure just how much he will get to play as he pushes himself to a full recovery.

“The recovery process is going well”, said Jones. “I feel like I am pretty well ahead of schedule and was supposed to miss six-to-eight weeks.  It hasn’t even been four weeks yet and I feel like I am getting pretty close to returning to the field.”

The Bills can’t blink as their productive offense takes on the NFL’s #1-ranked defense in the Jets.

“They have a really good secondary with two all-pro cornerbacks.  Darrelle Rivas is the best corner in the league, and the defense produces turnovers.  We have to get off the ball because they like to jam the receivers at the line, and we expect to see a lot of blitzing.  They have some crazy schemes on defense and all of the pressure they create causes quarterbacks to throw interceptions.”

The game has a lot of meaning to Jones because he worked out with some of the current Jets roster in the offseason.  Brad Smith, of Youngstown Chaney High School fame, was a Jet and also wants to win in the worst way this weekend.  Personal reasons aside, it is a game that will drastically alter the standings, either way.

“They are a divisional opponent”, noted Jones.  “If we get the win we will be two games ahead of them and if we lose they will have tied us for first place.”

As Jones inches closer to his return, it should be noted that the Bills defense has stepped it up as the offense has slowed in the last couple of games.  Once Jones returns, it will open things up for Chan Gailey‘s offense because #19 is developing a good reputation in football circles as a field stretcher.  This team is good, and they are for real.

Being Donald Jones: Special Edition, Coming Back To Youngstown On The Bye Week

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Perhaps the most likable characteristic a person can have is that when they reach a level of success that few have, they are unchanged and remember their roots. Donald Jones is nursing a high ankle sprain and will be out of action at least this week (bye) and next week against the Washington Redskins.  The money hasn’t changed his attitude.  He is still a very sensible and grounded human being and returned to Youngstown State to talk with the team at this week’s pregame dinner on Friday night.

When addressing the players, Jones talked about his personal hurdles in establishing his goal.  ”There were only two teams interested in signing me as a free agent, Buffalo and the New York Giants.  The chances of you making it to the league (NFL) are not very good.  I am not saying that you can’t do it, because I am proof that you can, but embrace the education you are receiving while in college and prepare yourself for a future.”

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Jones not only talked with the team but introduced himself to many of the faces he had never met.  He sat with various members and chatted during the dinner.

Aaron Pitts, Jones’ college roommate, is on a different path of success.  Pitts is training with the Cintas Corporation locally and enjoys what he is doing.  Pitts showed up at the dinner to hang out with his old friend and it was nice to see the past interact with the future.

“We haven’t seen each other much”, said Pitts.  ”As you know, Donald and I were roommates and got to be pretty close.  I am glad he is doing well and it is great to spend some time with him and catch up.”

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Youngstown State second-year coach, Eric Wolford, introduced Jones to his team and talked about how hard work and taking care of your body can pay dividends. Interestingly, Jones graduated before Wolford was hired, but the two interacted like old friends.  It was a nice union of old meets new and everyone walked away happy.

Jones and Pitts showed up at the Youngstown State – Saint Francis game, which the Penguins won, 49-23.  Jones was on the home sidelines and spent time talking to reporters, signing autographs, and talking to anyone that approached him.  He is a refreshing change from the stereotype of a successful athlete, often perceived as a prima donna.  Jones is anything but.

“The biggest problem I have now”, joked Jones at the dinner, “is that everyone wants something.  Everyone calls and wants something from you.”

The most satisfying thing Youngstown could ever want, they got, when Jones showed up as an unchanged and respectable person who has not let the limelight change who he is and how he acts.

Being Donald Jones: Coming Back To Youngstown, Being Injured, Bye Week

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The Buffalo Bills enter their bye week at 4-2.  Donald Jones missed last week’s game, a 27-24 loss to the New York Giants, with an injury he sustained against Philadelphia the week before.  Because it is the bye week, Jones is missing one less game and is working hard to get back on the field and mend his high ankle sprain.  The original diagnosis was four to six weeks of no football, but Jones is determined to get back in the mix.

“It’s a tough injury”, remarked Jones. “So far things are going pretty well and I feel like I am ahead of schedule.  I am doing a lot of pool workouts and I am going to get on the field Monday to do some agility drills and test it a little.”

So how will Jones spend the bye week?  ”Everyone went home after practice for the bye week.  We put in the first installment of plays for the Washington game, our first game after the bye.  On Monday, we will put the rest in and start to work on the plays.  I am coming to Youngstown State to talk to the team on Friday and am going to the game on Saturday, I am looking forward to that.”

The Bills have exceeded expectations from coast-to-coast so far with big wins over New England and Philadelphia.  Jones feels that the team has more to do, much more.

“So far it has been really good.  We felt like we let the game against the Giants last week get away, the same as Cincinnati.  We were winning both games and all of the guys are upset that we didn’t come out of those two games with wins.”

Stop by Stambaugh Stadium this Saturday and say hello to YSU’s biggest representation in the NFL since Jeff Wilkins.

I also spoke with Jones’ father via telephone.  He is working hard on promoting his Buffalo’s Soldiers group.

“Buffalo’s Soldiers is a group of former policemen who go to various football events and games covering a pretty wide area”, said Mr. Jones.  ”We are now working harder to promote Donald and the DJ3 logo.  We want to get the people where he was and keep them informed.”

Being Donald Jones: Losing When You Should Win And Buffalo Hoping To Get By Vick And Philly

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Buffalo was in an unfamiliar role last weekend.  They were favored to win against a team they should beat.  Unfortunately, the Bills were handed a 23-20 setback by the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Bills were outscored 20-3 in the second half and never got their bearings on offense. Bills receiver Donald Jones is a former Youngstown State University standout and has been generous with his time to allow me a weekly interview segment focusing on the way he sees things.

“We realize that we are not going to win every game”, remarked Jones on the loss.  “In this league, you have to win the games that you are supposed to win.  I don’t feel like they won, I feel more like we lost, it was a game we should have won.”

Things will not be easy this weekend. Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles roll into Orchard Park for a 1 p.m. contest with the Bills.

“Defensively, they [Philadelphia] do a very good job covering”, said Jones. “However, they miss a lot of tackles in the secondary and with the group of receivers we have, we feel we can exploit that this week.  They have a good pass rush and really attack the ball.  We know that we will have to step it up on offense this weekend and look to fire on all cylinders.”

Jones’ father, Donald Sr., is making his debut this weekend in Orchard Park as well.  Senior is driving the 23-foot long truck that will carry the ‘Buffalo Soldiers’, a group of Junior’s friends and relatives.  The truck (below) should hit the tailgate around 8 a.m., so look for it and say hi to Mr. Jones and crew.

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Jones also commented that it has been a pretty low-key week and that the honeymoon with most major media outlets is over, for now.

“We see that we can be beat.  We will have to come out more focused and block out all of the distractions”, said Jones.

Last week, Jones was targeted eight times, most on the team.  The reason Chan Gailey likes Jones so much is because he will stretch defenses, take pressure off of Stevie Johnson and free up TE Scott Chandler.  More importantly, RB Fred Jackson has more space to work with because Johnson and Jones can both stretch a defense to create more space.

Jones had three catches for 21 yards in the loss.  For the season, he has 14 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown.  He is going to pop a 100-yard game, real soon.

Being Donald Jones: Beating The Patriots And Keeping Momentum

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Donald Jones predicted Buffalo could beat New England because there were match-ups that the Bills offense could control.  Point taken, 3-0, and Buffalo is rolling along like a championship team with a seemingly unstoppable offense.  Jones had his best game as a professional, hauling in five passes for 101 yards leading a scoring machine called the Bills.

The former Youngstown State Penguin talked about the big win over New England.  “We won the game, and it is a huge win to beat them [New England].  We have been fortunate to dig our way out of holes that we are putting ourselves in early, and we are addressing that.  We are happy with the win though, it is a huge step for us.”

Jones set up the winning points with a great 48-yard reception. “That play was something that we worked on in practice.  When we got up to the line, Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] saw the defense that they were in and called the audible and it worked just like we practiced it.”

“The play that put us in front in the fourth quarter was the pass to Scott Chandler across the middle.  They stayed with me so nobody was on Chandler.  Had they stayed with him, I would have been open.  It was the same exact play we used when we beat the Raiders.”

Jones talked about this weekend’s visit to Cincinnati.  ”Our mindset as a team is that we have not really accomplished anything yet.  We are 3-0, and that’s a good start, but it is a long season.  All of the veterans are staying on the young guys to stay prepared each week and not become content.”

So far the Bills are just an offensive Juggernaut.  Fred Jackson and the running game are loosening up defenses for Fitzpatrick to pick apart.  “Fred is a beast”, remarked Jones.  ”He helps our passing game out tremendously by keeping the defense honest with the run.”

Jones and his Bills are in an unfamiliar position this weekend – playing a game that they should win.  People are catching on to what Jones has been telling me since Week 1, when he said the 2011 Bills offense would be a force to be reckoned with.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Jones is now owned by 6% of all fantasy owners, a far cry from zero a month ago.  Pick him up while you can!

Being Donald Jones: Coming Back Against The Raiders, Seeking Respect Against The Patriots

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With their backs against the wall last week, the most surprising team in the NFL did the unthinkable and overcame an 18-point second half deficit to defeat the Oakland Raiders in a classic.  The Buffalo Bills scored on their last five possessions to complete a comeback for the ages, pulling out a 38-35 thriller over the visiting Raiders.

Former Youngstown State WR Donald Jones had four catches for 24 yards and made perhaps the biggest play of the game when he knocked what looked like a sure interception away from a Raiders defensive back on the last scoring drive.

“Coach Gailey comes up with great sets of plays for us to run each week”, reflected Jones. “However, on the last drive, Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] was making it up as we went.  That is what is so unique about our offense this season, Fitz and Coach Gailey are on the same page.”

“Against Kansas City, we got ahead so fast that we were able to use more running plays in the second half.  This past week against Oakland, we were down so fast that we had to throw the ball more to score faster.”

This week, the Bills (2-0) host the always-tough New England Patriots.  As you can imagine, not many are picking the Bills to win this contest, but Jones believes in his team.  “We are going into this game to win.  We know we have some matchups that we can win on offense.  It is definitely going to be an opportunity for this team to get some national recognition and to prove that we are for real.”

Kickoff for the Bills-Patriots game is set for 1 p.m. and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Buffalo pulls this game out.  I haven’t been wrong yet.

Being Donald Jones: Success In Week One, Looking For More In Week Two

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Donald Jones achieved a good short term goal last Sunday, he scored a touchdown.  More importantly, according to Jones, his Buffalo Bills recorded a very impressive 41-7 road victory at Kansas City.  Jones finished the game with three yards on two receptions and was targeted five times.

Jones nearly broke a bubble screen for six. “That bubble screen almost went for a big gain.  Coach Gailey is good at getting everyone the ball and he wwas trying to let me have an opportunity to create in space, it almost went for a real big play, but I got tripped up”, remarked Jones of the play.

“It is a nice to get a win, we like to play ahead, who doesn’t?”, said Jones.

This week the Bills welcome the Raiders to Orchard Park.  The Raiders also won last week setting up a matchup of two undefeated teams in Week Two that many ‘experts’ would not have predicted.

“The Raiders are going to be a good test for us.  They have a good defense and have a reputation of hitting.  I think we can rise to the challenge and we are excited about opening up at home.”

Jones was owned by 0.1% of all fantasy league owners in Week One based on ESPN Fantasy Football statistics.  There was not much of a surge as Jones is still listed as being owned by 0.1%, however, he is ranked #43 out of all wide receivers thanks in large part to the touchdown he scored.  Can you say bargain pickup, fantasy owners?

Being Donald Jones: Buffalo Bills Training Camp

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Former Youngstown State star Donald Jones is settling in nicely with the Buffalo Bills.  Jones is scorching up the depth charts and will see ample playing time in Buffalo this season.  I will be featuring Jones every week during the NFL season to recap what went right in the games, and what may have caused problems for Jones and the Bills.

With Lee Evans gone, a huge void in the Bills offense is up for grabs.  Bills Coach, Chan Gailey, has already made his feelings known by praising Jones.  The biggest compliment a coach can give a player at that level is playing time.  Jones is currently listed as the #2 receiver for the Bills behind Stevie Johnson.  The other players for the Bills with some game experience, David Nelson and Roscoe Parrish are inside slot-type receivers, opening the door for Jones to replace Evans to be a deep threat and game breaker in 2011.

“I am having the best training camp I have ever had at any level”, commented Jones.  ”There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the offense and I am going to bust my butt to take advantage of my chances here.”

We briefly discussed his relative unknown status in fantasy football leagues too.  ”Hopefully a lot of people draft me and I can get them some points. But right now I don’t really think about being a starter. I’m just out here getting ready for the season, learning my playbook, and working hard at getting better.  The rest of it is out of my hands, it’s up to the coaches, and if they decide to start me, I will give them all I can.”

I asked Jones if there were any wrinkles in the new playbook designed for him.  ”We can’t really discuss that (laughs), but there are a couple of neat things that the people will like to see.”