“You know, it’s feeling good now,” Jones said. “So, you know, [I’m] just trying to improve my breaks and going full with it but going slowly.”
Jones, who transferred from LSU in 2008 before sitting out a year and getting injured last season, even said he recovered faster than expected.
“I really think I’m ahead of schedule,” Jones said. “They told me that it was a possibility [that I could come back], but they said no at first, and then when it came around, you know, after Christmas and after the bowl game, you know, they started [noticing] it was feeling real good and decided to let me [get back on it].”
Now that Jones is back on the field, he’s ready to perform whatever role is necessary, whether that means being in the guard or tackle position on the line.
“I mean, basically, like I said, we’ve got a lot of depth and a lot of guys competing, so wherever my team needs me best at, that’s where I’m gonna be,” Jones said.
And preparing guys for multiple positions is something the Sooners do often and very well.
“I think one good thing about our coaches is they teach us to be versatile,” Jones said. “A lot of the guys, not just me, but a lot of the guys work multiple positions and also work both sides of the ball, so, you know, it’s basically right now we’re just learning the schemes down better, being able to play hard without thinking about the plays, already knowing what to do, you know what I’m saying, makes it way easier. That’s what gets you beat in the game is thinking too much.”
On top of that, the versatility of these players to operate in multiple positions helps improve the continuity of the line from a depth stand point.
“We have a lot more depth now,” Jones said. “I think, you know, especially with I think, what do we have, about like six tackles or something like that, five or six tackles, five or six guards and about three centers? So we have a lot of rotation.”
Jones hopes that, plus a renewed focus, both on and off the field, will improve the fortunes of the offensive line, a unit that tremendously struggled in 2009.
“Last year [what] we had, it wasn’t as tight as it [should be] at going to class and doing things right,” Jones said. “Now, we’re doing things right. [Because of that] we have less penalties, less jumping offsides because everybody is focused on one goal.”
And that’s something that will greatly improve their level of play next year.
“[It’s] being more disciplined, more accountable for our actions,” Jones said. “Now they penalized us for going to class, but now as an offense, if one person misses on the offense, everybody gets penalized.”
“It’s not just a wide receiver group because, you know, if a wide receiver jumps offside, I mean, hey the whole offensive line’s still got to move back five. The quarterback and running back got to move back five, so, you know, I think it’s discipline and accountability, being responsible, you know, growing up basically.”
He even said some of his experiences have improved his own accountability, and he’s more mature than a year ago.
“Last year, really since I got into college [at OU], you know, I like to leave the past in the past, but the past is what was making me better,” Jones said. “It’s what’s making me learn, and, you know, my teammates, my coaches, God [have helped me] been a little bit more straight forward, build a better character, you know, so it’s all just seeing that negative character doesn’t equal good stuff.”
We’ll see if that greater focus and accountability turns over to more success on the line when fall rolls around.