Q&A: Jim Jones

PITTSBURGH -- Alan Faneca and his wife Julie gave birth to their first child on June 3, but they also nurtured the fledgling career of Jim Jones, who filled in for Faneca at left guard most of camp. Jones talked about the spring and what it means for his future:

JIM JONES

How did the spring go for you?
Just fun. It's always fun when you go out there with the first group, but everything really stays the same. You just try to do the best you can, improve every day and play with the best technique you can. I try to improve a little bit every day because I really believe you never stay the same. You're going to get better or worse. If you don't try, you're going to get worse.

Trai Essex was drafted to provide depth, but he missed everything in spring except the mini-camp. Do you feel your status has elevated? Do you feel this could be a big year for you?
I don't know. I learned one thing when I got in the NFL and I followed it last year and the year before: I really don't look around at how many guys are there, who they drafted, who they released. Honestly, I just try to play every day. It may sound cliché, but really, in this business you have to avoid those kinds of questions. You know, my first year I counted how many people were there but it'll just drive you crazy because as soon as you count somebody out, they go and sign someone else. You've got to be thick-skinned to make it.

You do know the offense better and have a better rapport with everyone, don't you?
Yeah, that always comes with time. This is my second year in the system. But the thing about football, every day you think you have it all some little intricacy comes up and you learn a little bit more. That probably goes for guys that were in the Pro Bowl.

What have you done to improve yourself?
There's not too much time. At the end of the year you get away for a couple weeks and just enjoy not being on much of a schedule. I took a little trip then. After that, you just try to get yourself back in shape. I try to do equal the amount of time working out as football. You know, a lot of people spend a lot more time lifting weights and doing all that stuff than they do football drills. But whenever I work out I make sure I spend an equal amount of time on pass sets, first steps in the run, and a lot of little mental things. You review what your strengths were last year, what you can improve on, and I try to fix all that.

Have you seen active time?
No. I was inactive every week. Everyone stayed healthy last year, except for Kendall (Simmons) in the preseason.

My hunch is you'll see some playing time this year. Do you have the same hunch?
Yeah, you always want to.

But do you feel it's going to happen?
Honestly, I really do just take it one day at a time because so much stuff happens. I wasn't drafted. I've always had to make it the hard way. I thought I got released a couple times in Baltimore when I shouldn't have. You just can't get too far ahead of yourself or overanalyze things. You've just got to take it one day at a time. And the next day's tomorrow and after that is Latrobe.


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