Al Davis famously once said “speed kills,” and that’s proving to be the case.
Fifth-year running back and Bay Area native Taiwan Jones has had quite the adventure since being drafted by Al Davis in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Jones started out his career showing flashes of his speed at running back but suffered fumbling problems and was ultimately converted to cornerback by former head coach Dennis Allen while he continued to be a standout on special teams.
After little development as a cornerback, new head coach Jack Del Rio converted him back to running back, the position Mr. Davis drafted him as.
“I told him, ‘we’re not just moving you to find a spot, we are moving you because we think you can really contribute’,” Del Rio said he told his running back when he converted him back.
And there’s no question that Jones has become a contributor.
It took four long years, but the speedy back finally got his first NFL touchdown on Sunday. On 2nd and 10, quarterback Derek Carr dumped the ball off to Jones who made some sick moves to shake multiple defenders and scamper 59 yards for the touchdown.
"Once I hit that gear, I was gone," Jones said of the play. "Like I said, instincts kicked in and I was like, 'I'm going to make a cut back.' I felt good after that."
Carr knew he wouldn't be caught.
“When I saw that there was one bounce back there, there's no one catching him,” Carr said of the play.
Jones has become the perfect change-of-pace back to compliment starting running back Latavius Murray, and he credits the coaches and the first guy that trusted him for his success.
“I tip my hat to the coaching staff, they put a lot of faith in me and see what Al Davis saw in me. It's my job to show the fans what Al Davis saw in me,” Jones said after the game.