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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Catching Up With... Sean Jones

It has been way too long since we've done one of these, but with our All-Decade team coming out last week and the Philadelphia Eagles on the verge of a huge game against Dallas, this seemed like the perfect time to catch up with one of my favorite former Bulldogs, Sean Jones.

Sean is currently a starting safety with the Eagles, but he spent his college career in Athens, helping Georgia to the 2002 SEC championship and earning All-American honors a year later. Here's what he had to say about the All-Decade team, the coaching search at Georgia and, of course, his soothing of my concerns about this week's big game...

David Hale: We did a feature a few weeks ago where we let readers vote on the best Georgia players of the decade at each position. I think safety was one of the tightest votes, with you, Thomas Davis and Greg Blue all getting a lot of support. So I've got to put you on the spot right away -- who would get your vote?

Sean Jones:
You know I'm going to say myself. Nah, but Thomas Davis and Greg Blue, they definitely had a lot of big plays at Georgia. They were an impact that we needed, and I think we all played better, all played our best football when we were out there on the field together. I think all three deserve credit.

DH: Do you still keep up with those guys and share a little trash talk about back in the day?

Oh definitely. The University of Georgia, it seems like everybody still talks to each other. No matter what year you come in, I know I still talk to a lot of guys I went to school with. Thomas Davis is one of my best friends, Greg Blue is a good friend. I actually went to TD's wedding this past year and we had a chance to get together and go to the LSU game together. It's always fun getting back to Athens and seeing all the guys and getting back to how it used to be when we were back in college.

DH: Well speaking of catching up with old teammates, Philly has sort of become a second home for Bulldogs. You have big Max Jean-Gilles, Reggie Brown, Will Witherspoon and Chris Clemons all up there. What's that like having so many former teammates playing with you now?

That's great, man. Just seeing guys you went to school with, guys you pretty much grew up with, become the man. The Philadelphia Eagles' colors are green, but you see a lot of red walking around here every day. Our equipment guy (at Georgia) sent us a care package so we're definitely rocking a lot of the UGA stuff around here. And it's fun. It's fun to see guys you grew up around and went to school with, and now playing professional football together and winning and going to the playoffs. It's a testament to what kind of program the University of Georgia has and the kind of work Mark Richt did for us.

DH: On that topic, what do you think of the pro prospects for Georgia's current safety, Reshad Jones? I know he considered leaving early last year, and Thomas Davis was one of those people who told him to stay in school. I guess he's going through a similar decision process now. What would you tell him to do?

I haven't actually talked to any of them, but the NFL, it's definitely a business. It's definitely fun though. It's a job, but it's also fun. It's the same thing as playing college football but you get paid for it and you have to go out there and win and you have to go out there and make plays. It's definitely more intense football. I think Reshad is definitely a professional football player, and I think he has great cache in the draft. With hard work and dedication, I think he's going to be OK in the league.

DH: I know you came up under Willie Martinez as your position coach, although Brian Van Gorder was the coordinator when you were there. What was your reaction the changes on Georgia's coaching staff last month?

It's always tough because we pretty much were a family out there when I was there. When Mark Richt came in, he brought in Willie and Van Gorder, and I just remember those days from the mat drills to the summer workouts to just pushing us. But at the same time, he developed us in our character, our toughness to be men, and I think we all remember that. It's unfortunate that the university had to move on, because Coach Martinez was definitely one of the best DB coaches I've ever had. I know they're going to move on to do great things ahead though, so I'm not too concerned about that issue. But it's still hard. I still talk to Willie Martinez, Coach G, Coach Richt. It's a family atmosphere and I'm glad I went to Georgia for that reason.

DH: There are obviously a ton of rumors swirling about who the next defensive coordinator is going to be. Is that something you guys in the NFL still pay attention to? Are you following the story?

I definitely do. It's a lot invested in UGA. It's like being at home, looking back at your high school teams back at home and seeing how your brothers and family are doing. I definitely keep tabs, I'm on top of everything, every big game, every week who they play. I know all the guys on the team. We might not be able to get back to the games as much as we'd like to, but there's definitely a lot of guys in the NFL looking back and wishing that they all do well.

DH: A few of the names out there in the DC search are current NFL guys. Do you think an NFL coach would succeed at Georgia or is there a big difference between coaching players in the pros and coaching in college?

I really don't think it's an NFL or a college thing. I think it's just getting the right coach, the right pick for that job. We want a coach that's a good coach, knows football well, knows the game plan, we want a coach that gets pressure, that motivates the guys. But we still want a coach that's as good a man, as good a person off the field. So we want to balance that, balance football and being a good guy that's going to help raise the kids, build character and make them better men when they grow up.

DH: I guess this is off topic a bit, but seems to be the big conversation this week -- what did you think about Urban Meyer first quitting then taking a leave of absence?

I actually saw it and it kind of shocked me when he said he was going to stop coaching. I definitely respect that decision because we love this game so much, but it's definitely still a game. You want to go out there and live life and enjoy your family and enjoy everything because you never know when your last day will be. So I respect that decision for him to see the whole big picture and try to get healthy so he can get back to the game he loves.

DH: OK, last question -- I'm a huge Eagles fan, and I need you to guarantee me a win this weekend in Dallas.

Oh, I'm definitely guaranteeing that, man. Going down to Dallas, we're playing for the East championship, playing for a bye, so it's a lot on this game and I think we're definitely ready. We're ready for this challenge and we're going to go down there and get the win.

Music to my ears… Hopefully Sean backs it up on the field. Big thanks to Sean for his time in doing this interview. Hopefully we'll have a few more of these coming up soon.


BigMuddyDawg said...

Great interview! Love hearing how he and guys still keep up with UGA even though they probably lead pretty hectic lives during the season. My favorite Munson quote associated with Sean Jones: "Old lady luck just laughed out loud right there!" after Jones picked up a UT fumble on our five yard line and raced for a touchdown to end the half up in Knoxville.

The Real Texas Dawg said...


Great interview with one of the greatest DAWGS ever...

But sorry to say...the Boys put a whipping on your beloved Eagles tomorrow at the DeathStar....and backdoor a second seed and bye.

Boys 34-14 (Romo has a huge day!)

Anonymous said...

Mike Leach for DC!!!!!!!!!!! Stand up guy and certainly the antithisis of CMR

Dawgfan17 said...

Just pick Dallas to win and the Eagles are a lock!

Anonymous said...

why oh why have we not hired a DC yet...this is so annoying. now ESPN's rumor central says it could be mid January before we announce and they are proclaiming it will hurt recruiting...ANNOYING.

Prince Lightfoot said...

Did Arkansas just win that game, in OT, without converting a single third down?

Anonymous said...

Would have like a question on what Sean thinks of Todd Gtantham as a DC at UGA.

The 3rd Richt said...

I think Travis Jones would be a better hire than Grantham if we're looking at NFL guys. Just my opinion but that dude coached a helluva line under Saban.

Muckbeast said...

Wow. I hope Sean Jones doesn't start guaranteeing us Bulldog wins. Ouch.