JACOBY JONES RETIREMENT PRESS CONFERENCE
General Manager/Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome, Head Coach John Harbaugh and WR/RS Jacoby Jones
Ozzie Newsome opening statement:
(NEWSOME)"For me, it goes back to his draft. He was at Lane College, a small HBCU in Tennessee. As you all know, we get a chance … We can bring in 60 [pre-draft visits] right now, but I think maybe it was only 30 back then. Jacoby was one of the 30 or the 60 that we brought in to Baltimore to spend some time with. His personality showed up right away. The thing that we all noticed was that the tape was not great tape, but he was just out … He looked like Usain Bolt every time he got the ball in his hand. That is how we became so interested in him.
"He ended up getting drafted by the Texans and having a career there. It worked out that we were able to get him to come to Baltimore. You just saw the highlights, but I recall, and I don't know if he had become a free agent or if we decided to terminate him, but he was free. He was taking some visits, and [Jacoby's agent] Kennard [McGuire] knows this, because he was a part of it, and Jacoby was visiting the Giants, and I kind of anticipated he may sign with them. But, I looked at my phone, and I got a text and he said, 'Can you bring me back home, please?' At that point, I think Kennard lost all of his leverage as a negotiator, *(laughter) *because we knew that he wanted to come back, and we were able to get him back.
"Jacoby, in the biggest game, on the biggest stage, had his best game in his hometown, and that is surreal."
John Harbaugh opening statement:
(HARBAUGH)"There are so many moments. All of those little moments you have talking and interacting and laughing and just him setting the tone for the whole team. But two things jump out. The first thing is probably your mom, Ms. Emily [London] and going to New Orleans. But you [Ms. Emily] are going to be part of both of these stories. Ms. Emily said – and it wasn't just the Super Bowl game, it was every time we went down there – we got fed like you cannot believe. Jacoby said, 'You just wait, coach. You just wait until you taste this food. This is going to be unbelievable.' We didn't even need the pre-game meal. We had the pre-game meal, and it was a family moment. Everyone is down there laughing and enjoying it. I think of [former Ravens defensive line coach] Clarence Brooks down there enjoying it. That is one thing.
"The other thing is the Minnesota game. We saw the kickoff return in the Minnesota game. I think there were five touchdowns scored in the last 2:05 of the game. I have never seen anything like it. The field was covered with ice, and we just had to have another touchdown after they scored. We thought we had a game plan, where they were going to try to kick it short, and we had a sideline return up our bench all set up for it. It was going to be Jacoby catching it on the run and running right up the sideline. We thought we could get it blocked, and it would go to the house. We had it; we are ready to roll. We run out on the field, and they are getting set up and the kicker lines up just like [special teams coordinator/associate head coach] Jerry [Rosburg] said he was going to do the kick, and I look back, and Jacoby is supposed to be where the kick is going to go. He is back there in the end zone talking to his mom. (laughter) *He is talking to Ms. Emily in the end zone. I am screaming: 'Jacoby, Jacoby, Jacoby!' He kind of looks back and goes, 'Oh, I guess we have to go.' *(laughter) He turns around on the dead run and sprints as the kicker is kicking the ball; he is sprinting from the end zone, catches it on the dead run and takes it to the house for the touchdown." (Jones: "It was drawn up like that, though.") (laughter) "That is how it was drawn up. You geeked them out! The time is yours."
WR/RS Jacoby Jones opening statement:
(JONES)"First, I give thanks to the most highest, [God]. To my mother, which is also my father. I do have support from my cousin here. Of course, [Jacoby Jones] Junior, who is my biggest fan. The Rosemore family, you all know my good friend, [Coby], who became a brother to me, passed a couple of months ago. They took me in like family. I give thanks to the Texans for giving me an opportunity to play in the NFL – the Chargers, the Steelers – but mostly this organization. When they took me in, Ozzie [Newsome] said, 'Be yourself, just don't get in trouble.' (laughter) *I said, 'I got you.' They let you be yourself on and off the field, as long as you show up and do your work and do what you have to do. You can't ask for more as a player. If you can be yourself, you can play the best ball you can. I thank my teammates. You look at the guys that are around each other and we are bonding. Outside of football, we go eat every day together, hung out together. We did things. That is what made us a Super Bowl team, and that is how this organization is – it is a family more than anything. The City of Baltimore accepted me. They took me in. I walk around here downtown, and people slam on their brakes and blow their horn. I'm like, 'What's up?!' It is love, and I love it. I appreciate it. Everything has to come to an end, but at least it is here, and I thank you." *(Applause)
(HARBAUGH) *(points to Jacoby's son) *"So what do you think? Raven? Sometime soon?"
(JONES) "Oh yeah."
(NEWSOME)"He is already committed to Alabama." (laughter)
(HARBAUGH) "Committed to Alabama? Nah. My brother [Jim] still has a call to make. *(laughter) *Jacoby, thank you for everything you have ever done. Thank you for being a friend."
*What does this moment mean to you? You talked about how you played with different teams, but this is the place where you felt most at home. Not every player gets the opportunity to come back here and retire as a Raven. What does this moment mean to you? (Garrett Downing) *
(JONES) *"Like I said, it shows how loyal this organization is. You give love and you give respect and you get love and you get respect back. That is why this is how I'm doing it. I was like, 'I'm going back to Baltimore.' Don't get me wrong, I live in Houston. Everyone was like, 'Man, you played the most years with the Texans.' So? You all didn't want me." *(laughter)
Can you flash back and tell us what was running through your mind during the "Mile High Miracle?" (Ryan Mink)
*(JONES) *"The 'Mile High'… You know, they say you practice how you play. I am sitting there, and just like Joe [Flacco] always does during the two-minute warning [drill] in practice, Joe always sits there and says, 'Just run.' He looks at me and Torrey [Smith] and says, 'Just run.' I am like, 'alright.' They would always play Cover 2, and he would just sit there and stare at Dennis [Pitta] and then throw it over Ed's [Reed] head. Every time, Ed would be hot! Ed would be hot! When it happened in a game, I think a week later, I said, 'Damn that worked!' It really happened like that. You practice how you play."
There are the two touchdowns in the Super Bowl, the "Mile High Miracle." What is your favorite play that you have had here? (Garrett Downing)
*(JONES) *"My favorite play? When they tackled that dude [in the Super Bowl], and that 'sucka' [the clock] said all zeroes, and I knew I was a champion."
The Ravens play Pittsburgh this week. Is there any thought of returning a couple kicks down the Steelers sideline? (Luke Jones)
(JONES) *"I ought to go trip [Mike] Tomlin myself and get even with him." *(laughter)
When you look back, do you think the Ravens helped make you famous and you helped them win a Super Bowl? That is sort of how it played out. From that Super Bowl year, you were on "Dancing With the Stars", people knew you and you helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl. (David Ginsburg)
*(JONES) *"I won't say famous. I will say they helped me become a better person and a man, because they gave you a lot of responsibility, but they didn't have a leash on you. I was able to do different things like "Dancing With the Stars" and adapt to my situation. That is what they helped me do."
Things in Houston didn't end the way you liked, but a year later, you had the defining year of your career. Do you look back on if it just happened at a perfect time for you and how important 2012 was to you and your career? (Jeff Zrebiec)
(JONES) "Man, God does things for a reason, and I appreciate Him."
(HARBAUGH) "That's his mom over there. Yes, ma'am."
Can you talk a little bit about Baltimore fans? You've always had that kind of special relationship with them. What was it about this fan base that you really connected with? (Ryan Mink)
(JONES) "Man, I tell you, diehard, diehard. You know what I mean? I've never been around a city like that. I'm talking about when they have the Purple Fridays, everything [is] purple. I'm talking about people working at banks have purple hair. I'm like, 'Man, you're a bank teller?' (laughter) But, it's diehard; when they love you, they love you. Even if you do something wrong, they still love you. They'll be like, 'You're alright,' but they'll give you that stink eye though."
**I think it was earlier this season, I saw you came back, you were on the field and you saw [special teams coordinator/associate head coach] Jerry [Rosburg], and you guys kind of lit up. How important was he to your career and what kind of relationship do you have with him? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *
(JONES) "That man gave me the green light. I tell you what, I was returning punts at first. I think my first [kick] return of the year was against Dallas; it went 108 [yards]. So I get to the sidelines [to] take a knee, I think he was like, 'If you see it, just go.' (laughter) We've been like that ever since."