Ravens Newest WR Relishing Fresh Start

Brandon Jones feels “young again” after being out of football for a year with injuries.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 at 11:13 am | Categories: Mike Duffy

It has been nearly five months since new Ravens wideout Brandon Jones was on a real NFL roster.

In the last major cutdown of 2010, Jones, once a productive receiver with the Tennessee Titans, was released by the Seattle Seahawks following several setbacks to his career.

Now that the Ravens have signed him to provide depth to their receiving corps, Jones feels like a new man.

“I felt like this was a good place for me,” Jones told BaltimoreRavens.com.  “I’m glad those guys wanted to evaluate me.  It’s a fresh start, and I feel like I’m ready for it.”

Jones, a former third-round draft pick out of Oklahoma (2005), caught a personal-best 41 passes for 449 yards in 2008, turning that season into a lucrative three-year, $15 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

But midway through his first 49ers training camp, Jones dove for a pass in the end zone during practice and fractured his shoulder.

By the time he returned to the lineup, Jones never regained regular playing time.

He was let go by San Francisco the next year, but nagging hamstring and ankle injuries led to the Seahawks eventually cutting him, as well.

Although spending the 2010 campaign as a spectator was frustrating, Jones kept his dream alive by rehabilitating at his alma mater.

“I was just trying to get my body back under me,” said Jones.  “There were a lot of nicks and bruises that I had to get past.  I feel young again.  I’m not old, but for a while there, my body was feeling that way.  It’s a good feeling from that aspect.

“From another, it was a tough feeling to not be able to do what you’ve done since you were a kid.  It was a reality check for me, watching the season pass by.”

Jones credited his support group back home for keeping him grounded, while also focusing on his degree (Jones will graduate with a criminology degree in May) and record label (DreamKast Entertainment, on which he partners with Washington Redskins tackle Jamaal Brown).

But the most important thing was never losing sight of his quest to play again.

“I never gave up on it and was patient,” said Jones (6-foot-1, 212 pounds).  “I love to do this, and that helps you stay motivated.

“I have God-given talent, so I just needed to get out there and put them to use.  I’m going to work hard, and I know I still have it, but I needed the opportunity. I know I can gain that magic back.”

Jones said he has watched the Ravens from afar and sees a lot of potential with their offense.

Even though he will join incumbents Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason as the third-oldest member of a position where the Ravens have expressed their interest to get younger, Jones is confident he can take advantage of his next break.

“Once you get out there on the gridiron, it’s about gaining the respect of your teammates and coaches,” Jones said.  “I’m going to bring my best and give the Ravens’ fans the best that I have.  I want to gain their respect.  I’m ready to get the ball rolling and fight hard.

“I’m hungry, and I want to make the best of this opportunity.”

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