The NY Times had an awesome article about TJ before the game yesterday, as he was on the verge of surpassing 10,000 career rushing yards.
After grinding out (and he doesn't run for yards, he only grinds or rumbles for them) 62 yards against the Rams, TJ is now only the third active player (Tomlinson, Fred Taylor) to hold that achievement in the NFL. At 32 years old, he's now #25 all time and aside from Terry Allen, the only player in the top 150 to play for 5 different teams (and Allen was traded late in his career, not in his prime).
The article played up the main themes that seem to always describe TJ: ridiculous work ethic, lack of pretense and being totally under appreciated. The Times took a similar approach in another article from last summer where they dug into his family background and his career history.
Jones is the kind of player that nobody ever talks about and is someone who will quickly be forgotten a few years after he retires (hopefully in 2020).
Nobody will talk about the punishment he took in Chicago, facing 9 guys in the box with Craig Krenzel, Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson, Kyle Orton and Brian Griese all taking turns missing easy 5 yard outs while playing make-believe NFL quarterback.
Nobody will talk about how he rumbled for over 1000 yards for every year of his 4 year contract with the Jets. Or that he holds the single game franchise record with 210 yards. Or the little things that get buried without statistics, like how he saved the Jets by converting and end of game 4th and 1 against an entire defensive set, 3 boulders and a small truck to beat SD in the playoffs last season.
And sure, Jamaal Charles is a nice change of pace back but TJ still runs the crowded box downs (1st and 2nd) and short yardage. He's 32. He's still averaging 4.0 yards/carry. He's still a beast. And I didn't even MENTION his biceps (which are glorious).
I've only heard him complain twice: the first time about Cedric Benson being entitled (holy shit was he right) and the second about Brett Favre milking attention (ditto).
Here's a guy who plays the game the way we always want our heroes to play - dedicated, committed, a great teammate, humble and leads by example. Just shut up and play hard, letthe stats speak for themselves. Winning always comes before personal accolades.
This is the kind of player we all want on our teams. He is the kind of guy we all wish was more like our own best player (especially if you live in Philly and have to root for DeSean Jackson, that insufferable egomaniac - compare his post game press conference to Devin Hester's and you'll know what I'm talking about).
So, congrats TJ. Just like everything you've achieved in your career, it's hard earned and well deserved despite being mostly unnoticed.