*EDITOR'S NOTE:Wide receiver Jacoby Jones will be providing periodic diary entries for HoustonTexans.com to give fans insight into the life of an NFL rookie.
*That first NFL road trip was way different for me compared to what I'm used to. We took bus rides everywhere in Division II, so the plane ride with food on there and the police escort and everything, that was pretty fun. The whole thing was first-class. That was my first time at a Ritz-Carlton. That was pretty nice, too.
For trips at Lane College, we took a bus every time. The longest bus trip I took was a 14-hour ride to Florida. I wouldn't say the bus was broke-down, but that bus had been at Lane for a long time. We called it the Dragon Wagon. We rode it everywhere we went. I miss it, though. We had some good times and bad times on that bus at Lane College. It was pretty crowded, but I fortunately got a seat to myself because when you got your years in you, you got your own seat. But the plane rides – the plane rides are first class here. I'd never ridden first class. That's something different, riding on the plane, getting the meals, dinner. We had to stop everywhere we'd go on the bus to get something to eat – fast food or Shoney's or Ryan's or something. Now, there's food everywhere, steak, chicken, ice cream, everything.
It was nice, but I wouldn't say I was blown away by the whole experience. I was just going with the flow, but it was something different, though. University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Cardinals play, is a real nice stadium. When we walked in the doors, I was impressed. It was nice.
Before the touchdown, my first one in the NFL, I was on the sideline talking to Matt Turk, our punter, and coach Larry (Kirksey) and Dunta Robinson. I said, 'If I get my hands on one of these punts, I'm gonna take it to the house.' And that was the only punt I had a chance to take, so I got my hands on it and Fred Bennett and Harry Williams threw some good blocks and I was out of the gate. After I got to the end zone, man, I was like, 'Am I dreaming? So just don't pinch me, man. Let me be.'
I thought I might be on SportsCenter after the game. I actually watched it when I got the call from my friends. They were saying I was on the Top 10 plays and everything, so I was looking for it. I saw it on there, number three.
That was one of my goals. I always said in college that one day I would make Top 10 plays of the week. Even when I was a kid, I used to think about it. It's always been a dream, but like I always say, if it wasn't for Lane College, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. So I do thank Lane for that.
That's my momma's ball, though. She's coming to get it this weekend. She'll be here for the Cowboys game, so it's sitting on my fireplace right now.
My mom came to the last home game. That first game for her, she was up there really nervous. So this game she may be a little looser, I think.
Training camp's over, so I get to stay at home instead of the team hotel all the time. It's different – I'm used to being with my teammates now. But we still bond, you know. We still hang out, sit out at the house and play games together and stuff like that. But training camp, it was tough. So I'm kind of happy that's over. If I had to go back through all of it as a rookie again, wow!
Training camp and those first two games, they really helped us for getting ready to play during the season. We worked hard. Coach Kubiak pushed us, so we went into the first game and it was easy compared to practice. They say if practice is harder, the game will be easy.
I'm just glad that two-a-days are over. Today we did one day of practice. Now you get it in, work hard and go and play on Saturdays and Sundays.
I can't wait for Dallas. Tuskegee University was our big rival at Lane, so I guess I'm going to have to look at the Cowboys like they're Tuskegee now.
Got a question for Jacoby? Post a comment, or send an e-mail to editor Nick Scurfield at **email@example.com*.*