Shoving aside linemen might seem easy for Jones after he has pushed his SUV around the neighborhood a few times
On Thursday, November 16, Buccaneer defensive end Marcus Jones sat down with Buccaneers.com to conduct his 'Your Turn' interview. As always in the 'Your Turn' series, all of the questions posed to Jones were sent in by the team's fans using the web site.
Jones was a surprise breakthrough player at defensive end in 1999 after several seasons of struggling at defensive tackle, and he has taken his game up yet another notch in 2000. With 10 sacks through 10 games, Jones stands fourth in the NFC in that category and, like teammate Warren Sapp, is on pace to break the team's single-season record of 13.
Also like Sapp, Jones signed a contract extension to keep him with the Buccaneers well into the future. That extension was announced on Wednesday, November 15, and Jones' first extended interview after that fact was with Buccaneers.com.
The first half of that interview was posted on this web site last Friday. A full transcript of the second half of the interview follows below, or the video of the proceedings can be activated by clicking here.
Your Turn with Marcus Jones, Part II, November 16
Moderator: We're back for the second half of our 'Your Turn' interview with Marcus Jones, where all the questions that he'll hear were sent in by Buccaneer fans using Buccaneers.com. We've got 10 more great questions to go through, so we'll just jump right in if you're ready.
Marcus Jones: Yeah, I'm ready.
David from San Diego, California: How hard was it to convince the coaches that you were the man for the job, considering that Steve White had such a big impact on the last few games of the 1999 season? Do you think that Steve and you can play at the same time?
Marcus Jones: Yeah, we can play effectively at the same time. How hard was it to convince the coaches? That was really hard, just for the simple fact that, in order for you to be seen, you have to first get out there and do the things right to get them to trust you and to get out on the field. Some people think that, oh, Sunday, everybody gets to play. No, there's only a select few people that get to play on Sunday. To break into that lineup, you have to start from ground zero. I mean, I think I was the fifth string left tackle at the start of camp two years ago. I just constantly worked my way back up, all the way up to where I am now. It was really hard, but I think I enjoyed doing it that way, because I feel it's more deserved than it would be if somebody just said, 'Okay, here you go, you're the starter.' I feel like I worked for it and I'm going to continue to work for it."
Jessica from Fayetteville, North Carolina: How do you feel when you're on the field after a play is over and you hear the crowd in the stadium cheering for your team? Does this cheering make you feel like you've accomplished an important goal?
Marcus Jones: It depends on if you made the play or not. Sometimes you get into it. But I'm much more of a relaxed player. I like to celebrate once the game is over and we've won it. A lot of times, I see guys celebrating before the game is won, and it's kind of counterproductive sometimes. That's the way I've always been. But it does help to know that the fans are in it just as much as you are and they want you to win. It seems like, at times, everybody's on the same page. It's all about having a good time and feeling good when you're out there.
Hippy from Tampa, Florida: Is it true that you push your Range Rover for exercise?
Marcus Jones: Well, it's not a Range Rover, it's my Expedition. I have an Expedition, and my wife will sit in the car for me. The first lap we'll do, it will be just straight pushing, where I just push the car one lap around the neighborhood. Maybe the next day, we'll do starts and stops. I almost killed myself one time. I told her, 'When you see me raise up, mash the brakes.' Well, I'm pushing as hard as I can, I'm getting the car going, and then she mashes the brakes! I was like, wait, wait, wait.
Clifton from Richton Park, Illinois: How did the four-game losing streak affect you and the team? Are you still thinking about going to the Super Bowl?
Marcus Jones: I definitely think we're going to the Super Bowl. The four-game losing streak, it did affect us, but it affected us in a way that a lot of people may not understand. We're taught that one of two things happen to people in professional football. Either you hit the tank and you just totally bottom out, or you learn from your past experiences and you rise to the top. I feel that we're going to rise to the top.
Suzanne from Houston, Texas: My husband and I traveled to Tampa to see the Minnesota game (he's a big Vikings fan and I'm a big Buccaneers fan!). I was so impressed with how nice you were to all of the fans before the game when you were going into the stadium--smiling the whole time and taking your time with everyone. I know the weeks before had been tough for the Bucs. How do you maintain such a positive attitude when things aren't going so well?
Marcus Jones: You have to have a positive attitude. There's so many things that you could be sad about, but why think about those things. We're getting an opportunity to play one of the greatest sports on the face of the earth...might as well enjoy doing it.
Andy from St. Petersburg, Florida: In the offseason, you finished the final requirements to graduate from the University of North Carolina. How has this accomplishment affected your life?
Marcus Jones: I tell you what, a lot of times, people tend to leave doors open in their lives. Me, I've always been the type of person that closes every door behind them. I always try to move forward and I think the biggest thing was, it was just hard to go back. You don't realize that when you're out of school for such a long time, you have to learn how to study all over again, you have to learn how to write papers again. You have to learn how to do all of these things that you take for granted because you haven't done them for such a long time. For me, it's made me a more complete person. Not in the sense that it's made me better or worse, but I'm finished, I'm done, I've accomplished something I set out to do at the beginning.
Matt from Bancroft, Ontario: Out of all of the defensive tactics to get around an offensive tackle or tight end, which do you prefer (for instance, the rip or the swim)?
Marcus Jones: I like to do a double-hand slap to a rip. A lot of times when you bullrush, you might use up a little too much energy. The quickest way around to get to the quarterback is to basically run around the person if you can get untouched. The best way to get untouched is to touch them first without them touching you.
Micah from St. Petersburg, Florida: Congratulations on your great season so far, I hope it continues. Do you have a nickname on the team? All my pals call you "The Hawk" because you have such a big wingspan.
Marcus Jones: I have a couple of nicknames. The one that basically everyone calls me is 'The Beast'. I don't know if it's by the way I look, or what, but they call me 'The Beast', so...
Jason from Amherst, Massachusetts: Since you are tall and athletic, were you ever a basketball player in high school or college? I'm a huge North Carolina fan and loved the football teams during your years there. Now they have that kid Julius Peppers who is a star in both basketball and football. Just wondering if Dean Smith ever tried to convince you to play some basketball?
Marcus Jones: Let me just correct you on that. I was never tall and athletic. I was pretty much that tall, clumsy kid. I played basketball in high school – I was forced to because I was basically the tallest kid there. My first year playing basketball, I was the worse basketball player ever. I couldn't dribble, I couldn't shoot, the only thing I could do was block shots, and that's it.
Char from St. Louis, Missouri: When you're not playing football, what do you like to do for fun? What type of music relaxes you?
Marcus Jones: Now that I'm older, it's kind of hard for me to sit still and listen to music. Everything pretty much sounds a little bit like noise. I know that sounds funny. I use to enjoy music a lot, but now that I'm older, I like to sit back and watch my little daughter. She'll put on little shows for me. She'll run around the house. She'll run past me and look at me and be laughing...I can just sit around and watch her grow up.
Moderator: That does sound like fun. This was fun, too. I appreciate you taking the time, I know you're busy.
Marcus Jones: Any time, any time.
Moderator: Thanks again.
Marcus Jones: You're welcome.