Ravens notebook: Jacoby Jones gets third return TD of season

His 63-yard TD on punt is his 3rd score on a return this season, 2nd in past 2 games

November 19, 2012|By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun

PITTSBURGH — -- The latest star turn in Ravens return specialist Jacoby Jones' stellar season unfolded Sunday night as he bolted into the end zone on a punt return for a touchdown.

Jones' 63-yard first-quarter score during a pivotal 13-10 AFC North victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field marks his third return for a score this season, and his second in the past two games.

The speedy 6-foot-2, 220-pounder twisted and turned up the left sideline, eluding tacklers before breaking away from the defense for good when he reversed field and outran defenders to reach the right corner of the end zone.

Jones celebrated in trademark fashion with an elaborate, exuberant dance in the end zone.

"We've been emphasizing punt returns because we already got two kickoff returns," Jones said. "As soon as Josh Bynes pushed his guy out and I got up in the seams, daylight opened up. We've been working on it real hard and it hit like it did in practice. The boys did a good job of blocking, and I did what I do best and that's run as fast as possible.

"As soon as I called it, I paused so they could get down and get on their blocks. I started one way and Josh did a great job of pushing his guy off when I got inside. They were trying to get outside the wall, but I saw nothing but open field to the right, so I thought: 'Why not go this way?'"

This touchdown follows Jones returning a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown a week ago during a 55-20 rout of the Oakland Raiders, and being named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Jones said there was little chance Steelers rookie punter Drew Butler would catch up with him in pursuit, saying: "People in hell have snow cones," when asked if the punter had a chance to chase him down.

Signed to a two-year, $7 million contract during the spring, the former Houston Texans starter tied an NFL record for longest kickoff return with a 108-yard score against the Dallas Cowboys.

"Go out there and vote for Jacoby for the Pro Bowl," said Anthony Allen, Jones' primary blocking back. "He's a returner, he's one of the best in the game. He can kick return or punt returner with the best of them."

Jones has never been named to the Pro Bowl before, but indicated heading into this game that he plans to bring a large entourage to Hawaii with him if he's named to the AFC squad.

That includes Jones' mother, Allen and special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg.

"If it happens, I'm taking everybody," Jones said Sunday. "Lets all go to Hawaii, but I've got my eyes on the Super Bowl."

Jones said his latest dance is called the "Choppa City Juke," mixed with a dance borrowed by Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

"Jacoby should be on Dancing With The Stars," Allen said. "He comes up with something different every week."

Jones averaged 33 yards per punt return against the Steelers, including the touchdown while executing four fair catches.

He returned two kickofs for 58 yards.

"Jacoby Jones came up big again," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He's been huge. He's the best dancer on the team, too. I'm proud of Jacoby, I'm proud of the special teams. Those are the hidden points that mkae differences in games."

Pitta sidelined with concussion
Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta got knocked out of the game with concussion symptoms sustained during the first quarter.

Pitta went to the locker room to be examined after being shaken up on a tackle by free safety Ryan Clark and linebacker Lawrence Timmons.

Pitta was also examined during the Oakland game, but managed to return and caught five passes for 67 yards with one touchdown.

For the season, Pitta has 38 receptions for 381 yards and three touchdowns. That includes one reception for five yards against Pittsburgh.

Steelers running back Isaac Redman (Bowie State) left the game with a concussion and defensive lineman Ziggy Hood left with a back injury.

Immediate contributor

Out of football since being cut during the offseason by the Raiders, newly-minted Ravens cornerback Chris Johnson got up to speed in a hurry on the basic details of defensive coordinator Dean Pees' playbook.

Signed to a one-year, $825,000 contract last Tuesday following a successful tryout, Johnson was able to put that knowledge to use against the Steelers as he forced a fumble that led to 26-yard Justin Tucker field goal.

Johnson left the game after tweaking his hamstring, but indicated it wasn't serious and wasn't limping after the game in the locker room.

"I came down wrong," Johnson said. "It's all good. It's just strained a little bit."

Johnson, 33, entered the game cornerback in the second defensive series when the Ravens came out in the nickel package, lining up outside as Corey Graham shifted inside to play the slot receiver.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder stripped wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from behind with free safety Ed Reed picking up the loose football and returning it 17 yards to the Steelers' 12-yard line.

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