The Kansas City Chiefs are getting ready for their first rookie minicamp of the 2013 season, with more than two dozen hopefuls vying for a quick glance from the coaching staff. There are those undrafted free agents who have agreed to contracts. Then there are those players who are guaranteed nothing more than a tryout at the Chiefs rookie minicamp.
One of those tryout players is cornerback C.J. Jones from the Texas A&M Aggies. Jones is a little-known undrafted rookie free agent whom the Chiefs invited to rookie minicamp immediately after the NFL Draft.
I spoke with Jones on Tuesday, and he was impressive. He had some interesting things to say, including how he knows Jamaal Charles and what got him noticed in college. Have a read at his quotes below:
How Jones got "The Call"
"I was sitting in my back yard at home in Texas and saw a number I didn't recognize. I'm not sure who called me (John Dorsey or Andy Reid). I wasn't paying attention to the name I was just excited to see to the phone ring."
What do you know about the Chiefs?
"I don't know an awful lot about them. I just know ever since Jamaal Charles was drafted by them I watched a little bit of the Chiefs. I ran against Jamaal when he was a senior and I was a freshman in high school back in Houston."
Did you expect to be drafted?
"I was pretty sure I was going to be undrafted. Being drafted would have great but the chances of that were slim."
What makes you stand out?
"The main thing that got me noticed was being faster than everybody. Whatever I do I'll do it full speed and I'll be noticeably faster than people. And effort, I may not be the most athletically gifted but I'll try harder than anyone."
What are your short-terms goals here in camp?
"Begin to make a name for myself. I don't want to just be a part of the group I want to be noticed and stand out. Pretty much whatever is going to make me stand out...put my name on the coaches minds."
You went to school with Kansas City running Cyrus Gray, how well do you know him?
"Me and Cyrus are really good friends. Actually when I first got on the team we argued about who was faster...we never ended up the racing but my forty was faster than his."
How excited will you be, getting to learn from Emmitt Thomas?
"It's already a great opportunity just to have an opportunity, but to learn from and be a student of a guy with credentials like his...I don't think I can express my excitement for that chance."
Do you prefer corner or safety?
"I'm open-minded to anything. Anywhere I can be effective I'll play."
At Texas A&M, how did you get your chance to see the field?
"They told me my best bet was special teams and my first practice one of the coaches needed a man for kickoff return. One of my coaches grabbed me and said run as fast as you can. I ran down and tackled the returner even though it wasn't a tackling period. I got in a little trouble but I got noticed. I figured if that's going to be niche I'm going to be the best I'm going to be. People say special teams aren't important but I feel it's one third of the game."
If you make the team, you're going to be in a group with guys like Brandon Flowers. How do you plan on learning from the vets?
"That's one thing I'm definitely looking forward being, being a sponge around the veterans. Listening to those guys and watching them, seeing what they're looking at and what they're doing...that's definitely something I'll be very excited to do. "