No glitz, some glory for Jones

July 23, 1995|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

FROSTBURG -- Rookie running back Larry Jones, who played in the bright lights at the University of Miami, is finding it's not an easy adjustment to practicing in the mountains of Western Maryland at Frostburg State University.

"I'm not used to seclusion, being so far out away from everything. In the city, you see cars pass by and people blowing horns and everything. I'm not used to all this green," Jones said.

Jones, though, is quickly finding a home at the Washington Redskins training camp.

With Reggie Brooks sidelined with a strained hamstring, Jones is getting a chance to duel free agent Terry Allen for the top running back job as the Redskins try to upgrade their running game.

The fourth-round draft pick is the top draft choice in camp because the top two choices, Michael Westbrook and Cory Raymer, are holding out, and the third-round pick, cornerback Darryl Pounds, is sidelined with a back injury.

Brooks' injury and the absence of the top picks have given Jones a chance to get in the spotlight, and he's taking advantage of it.

The day he was drafted, he predicted he'd become a starter, and he still thinks he can do it.

"That's no problem. I'm going to have my ups and downs, but in the end I'm going to be on top. That's my goal. It's a whole year thing."

He also thinks he can handle the receiving chores coming out of the backfield.

"I know I'm a great receiver. Given an opportunity, I'm going to prove what I can do," he said.

At 6 feet and 244 pounds, he's more likely to wind up as a short-yardage specialist this season, but he's caught the eye of coach Norv Turner.

"Larry Jones has impressed me," Turner said. "He's got a long ways to go, but [he has] the physical part of the inside run. He's hit in there a few times with runs that would have a 1- or 2-yard line and when they marked the ball, it was a 4-yard gain. That's something we need."

Jones is going through a typical rookie's adjustment, including the change from the one-back at Miami to the two-back set with the Redskins.

"Sometimes it's easier than I thought, and sometimes it's a lot harder than I thought. . . . In practice, you have to go hard every play. In college, you can take off a play or two," he said.

But he's been pleased that the veterans are willing to give him tips and that Turner is praising him.

"That makes me feel good. It makes me want to come out and work even harder," he said.

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