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In Defense of Thomas Jones–Former Falcon Jamal Anderson Makes the Case

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Thomas Jones With the Dapper Look

This is the first post in my “In Defense of” series where I choose one player to defend against the criticism levied against them. Today’s post was inspired by a longer and better post by former Falcons running back Jamal Anderson.

In a world where T.O.s and Ochocincos rule the airwaves in more ways than one, we sometimes forget about the quiet warriors that take the field week after week during football season. Thomas Jones is one of those guys. After playing a key role in the  Chicago Bears’ 2007 march to the Super Bowl, Jones was steeped in a little bit of controversy.  He left lots of Chicago fans disappointed when he left the team and moved on to the Jets. in 2009, Jones found himself in a standoff with the always-interesting Coach Rex Ryan when he asked for a contract renegotiation after Ryan had made it clear that veterans would not be receiving extensions until their current contracts expired.

Now that Jones is playing for the Chiefs (he signed in March 2010), those days feel long gone. He’s productive and has quietly helped the Chiefs improve their offense by leaps and bounds.

Anderson covers Jones’ history in the league well:

Thomas Jones has produced, without fan fare, to the tune of nearly 10,000 yards rushing. He is the FIRST back in NFL history to rush for more than 500 yards, on 5 different teams. Hall of Fame numbers, for a career that has certainly seen it’s ups and downs in an 11 year span. Who would have thought, after such a rocky start , that Jones would be standing on the threshold of such accomplishments? As a first round pick for the Arizona Cardinals, the beginning wasn’t just bleek, it was plain ugly. After three seasons in a Cardinal uniform, Jones amassed a mere 1264 rushing yards. We all know the type of praise heaped on first round picks when they produce. We also know the anger, resentment, and jokes dropped on their laps when we think they are a bust.

A true work out worrier in the gym, Jones never gave up, nor did he ever give in. With his days as a Cardinal numbered, a brief stop in Tampa would help Jones hit his stride. Since 2003, Thomas Jones has failed to rush for more than 1000 yards in just ONE season. In that one season,  (Chicago Bears) Jones missed two games, and still rushed for 948 yards. Jones would eventually become one of the cornerstones for the Chicago Bears 2006 NFC Championship, with over 1200 rushing.

For the rest of Anderson’s post, click here.

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