When Jimmy Kimmel asked
"Do polar bears poo on ice?" he said.
Jones was still in the dressing room afterwards when ABC producers approached him with a formal invitation.
Jones ran it by Head Coach John Harbaugh before formally accepting his invitation. According to Jones, the coach simply said he better be ready for football next year. Jones said, “Yes, sir.”
And with that, Jones was ready to get his dance on.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Jones told BaltimoreRavens.com Thursday. “When I first saw the show and I saw there were players on it, I was like, ‘Man, I think I can kill that.’”
Jones is paired with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, who won season 13 with soap opera star and Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez.
“She’s hot,” Jones said with a laugh. “We’re very similar. She’s goofy. I think she’s just a female version of me from Russia.”
Jones has been given 7-1 odds of winning by Bovada, which ranks seventh out of the show’s 11 celebrity pairings. U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has the best odds at 4-1. Jones sees his top competition being Raisman, professional boxer Victor Ortiz, and 16-year-old Disney star Zendaya Coleman.
“They don’t think I’m going to win,” Jones said. “We were underdogs all year long. Odds don’t mean nothing. Everybody has to put their dancing shoes on like everybody else. That’s it.”
Three other former NFL players (Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Driver) won "Dancing With The Stars." Asked how much he wants to do the same, Jones atypically got serious and said, “So bad.”
“You don’t understand,” he said. “It’s my competitive nature.”
Jones made a name for himself with his touchdown dances such as the Choppa City Juke. But will his end zone moves translate to the hardwood?
He has an ace up his sleeve. Jones formally danced as a kid in New Orleans while he was in a lot of plays and musicals. He said he knows how to waltz and foxtrot, as well as some jazz dances.
If all else fails, he’ll rely on his natural talents and what his mom, Emily London-Jones, taught him.
“I’m from the country,” Jones said. “When that music comes on, we’re on the dance floor. That’s nothing new right there.”
Jones won’t start preparing until about 10 days before the show’s premier on March 18. He’ll fly out to Los Angeles for the tapings, which could go into early May if Jones were to win.
He would miss the team’s voluntary strength and conditioning program and football school. Organized team activities (OTAs) begin in late May and mandatory minicamp isn’t until June, so he won’t miss any mandated workouts.
Jones isn’t worried about his ability to be ready for football. In fact, he believes the show could help him improve his game.
“Dancing is going to have me in shape,” Jones said. “All that cha-cha and all that, that’s footwork. That could help me with my routes. Jerry Rice took ballet.”
Jones has become a media darling since scoring two touchdowns in Super Bowl XLVII. The man nicknamed “Dragonfly Jones” by teammate
It’s quite a reversal from a year ago at this time, when Jones was ridiculed for a playoff fumble while with the Texans and later cut by the team.
“I take it in stride,” Jones said. “I’m still the same person ya’ll see every day. Last year I was one of the most hated people in football. I had my jersey burned, so-called death threats. To get cut and come to a team that loves me and win it, I’ve seen everything. I take it all in stride because I’ve seen both sides.”