Are Jones' NFL Teammates Teasing Him for 'DWTS'?
By ROBERT PACE
March 25, 2013
Jacoby Jones isn't the first professional football player to compete on Dancing with the Stars, but he is the youngest NFL player in the show's history. As such, Jones is more prone to banter from his teammates for dancing on national television.
While his NFL forerunners on DWTS were all either veteran or retired players, Jones is 28 years old, ten years younger than most recent NFL Mirrorball Trophy winner Donald Driver.
Although he has played seven years in the NFL and recently added a Super Bowl championship to his name, the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver is susceptible to locker room lampoonery from his teammates, especially the team's veterans.
However, Jones assures that he hasn't received much flak yet for joining Dancing with the Stars for its sixteenth season.
"Most of the responses I've got from my teammates have been positive," said Jones, who set the record for longest kickoff return in NFL history in the most recent Super Bowl. "They're actually mad at... [Len] (gave Jones his lowest score). ...They were excited for me."
The New Orleans native revealed that his Ravens teammates are so wired for competition that they focus their energy on trying to help him win, not criticizing or mocking him.
"I don't think I've had any players tease me," he said. "It's all positive [feedback]. My teammates are so competitive. They text me every day, 'Boy, you better win!' Anquan Boldin, Joe Flacco, everybody [has] been texting me. ...Everything [has] been about the competition. ...They look at it so competitive."
That competitive drive, combined with the athletic build and swift footwork professional football players possess, is a major reason why NFL players have had tremendous success on the show.
Although five football players have made it to the finale and three have taken home the Mirrorball, Jones isn't overly confident about his chances to win the show.
"My chances of winning are equal to anyone's. It's all about the work and effort you put into it," he said.
"'Dancing with the Stars' is a journey, so we are at the very beginning of our marathon," added Jone's professional dancing partner, Karina Smirnoff. "I think we started off with a great dance. ...I'm optimistic, but it is a long journey, so a lot can happen, but we're doing everything possible. We're pointing all the ten toes."
Watch Jones and Smirnoff perform their jazz routine tonight on Dancing with the Stars, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.