Different Attitude for Jones

Matt Jones has been the biggest lightning rod for criticism among Jaguars players since Byron Leftwich was released just under a year ago. Jones has been much maligned for a perceived lack of effort, and being a waste of supreme talent.

To borrow a phrase from my colleague Alfie Crow, "Matt Jones is the ultimate tease." Jones has routinely dropped passes that hit him in the numbers, yet made outstanding one-handed catches in traffic that would make Jerry Rice take notice. His apathetic attitude towards the game of football has infuriated Jaguars fans for the better part of three seasons.

Matt Jones has made national headlines over the past few weeks with his cocaine arrest, and it has been somewhat of a surprise that he wasn't released prior to the beginning of training camp. Still, Wayne Weaver, Jack Del Rio, and company have afforded Jones another opportunity and he appears to be making the most of it early on. Jaguars fans in attendance for the first weekend of training camp practices have seen Jones go full speed on routes, catch every ball thrown his way, and make a few spectacular catches over defenders. Basically, Jones has been playing like the guy the Jaguars thought they were getting when they selected him in the first-round of the 2005 draft.

One of Jones' toughest plays came on Friday afternoon, as he met with the media and discussed his situation, at least as much as he could.

"I'm embarrassed for (team owners) Mr. and Mrs. Weaver, coach (Jack) Del Rio and my teammates and even the fans of Jacksonville," Jones said. "It's not good but I really can't comment on it right now until all the things are settled in the courts.

"I'm just ready to put this behind (me) and move on and go through camp, and just get into it and work on making the team."

Jones didn't offer up a real apology for what happened, which is expected being that his legal situation has not been resolved. The former quarterback turned wide receiver also avoided any questions relating to his legal dilemma.

"The best thing for right now is to just answer questions on the season and on the team, and not really questions about stuff like that right now."

Jones has been given an opportunity to resurrect his career that many believed he wouldn't receive. If he wasn't a former first-round pick, and free agent acquisition Jerry Porter didn't have hamstring surgery, Jones likely wouldn't be receiving this opportunity. Still, the reasons why he's in Jacksonville aren't important, as Jones is a Jaguar and is playing like he wants to not only keep his roster spot, but justify his selection and his coach's decision and become a contributor.


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