Here's the transcript of third-round safety Chad Jones' conference call with the media. Sounds like a confident kid who had no trouble giving up a promising baseball career to take his shot with the NFL. Guy's a big pizza fan, too, as you'll see midway down the interview.
Q: Were you excited to learn your fate and come here?
A: Oh yeah. It’s a great place. I love that I went to a team where I have a guy on the team that I’m kind of familiar with. That has helped me out a lot with Corey Webster being on the team, especially since he’s a defensive back. Hopefully, he will show me the ropes and show me how to be a New York Giant.
Q: How well do you know Corey? Have you heard from him?
A: I haven’t talked to him in these last couple days, but I know him really good. I almost try and talk to him three days a week. We have a good relationship going.
Q: Was it a tough decision to stay with football and abandon the baseball career?
A: Not when I weighed out my options, you know. The number one thing is what I love more; what I would love to do more in my life. I chose football, so it wasn’t that bad of a decision. It wasn’t that hard of a decision. I know I made the right one.
Q: You think you could have made it in baseball?
A: You know, it’s a little bit slower game with a longer process. Yeah, I believe I have the tools to make it to the big show. I believe I had the tools to make it.
Q: Can you still throw a 91 mph fastball?
A: Yeah, I can still throw it. That’s what I average, 89-91 or 92. I could bump it up there pretty high to 95.
Q: Sounds like you like the game of football better…is that accurate, and why?
A: Yeah, that’s definitely accurate. Football games are much more exciting, and the fan bases are much better, you know. I like the commotion going and I like the excitement. There is so much more excitement on the football field. I just love the atmosphere, and that just fits me.
Q: Do you think because you played two sports that you’re a little behind in football now?
A: I wouldn’t say behind, but I didn’t get as much football maybe that I think would make me a better player. I think now that I’m focusing on football year round, I think you’re going to see the best of me. I feel that the best is yet to come. I think I had some good games at LSU and I had some strong points. But I think there is so much more to see what I have.
Q: How much did you talk to David Merritt, the Giants Safeties coach?
A: Well, I took a visit out there, and me and him got along really good. He put me up on the board and taught me a few things. Honestly, I impressed him enough for him to want me on his staff, the defensive back staff. We had a few good conversations, and things worked out good between me and him.
Q: What impressions did you get of Merritt as a person and a coach?
A: First thing, when I got there, I knew that he knew what he was talking about. He was telling me about defensive schemes and he taught me so many things in such little time. There is so much more I can learn from him, you know. I feel that he’s a great teacher, and I think as a man he has a great character. So you have kind of like a role model and you want those type of guys around you, especially when you are trying to work to get somewhere.Q: You think you can be an NFL punt returner?
A: I definitely can. I believe I definitely can. I have secure hands with the ball, so I definitely want the special teams coaches to put me out there. I hope things work well.
Q: When you played baseball, did you limit your size? Can you get bigger now as a football player?
A: No, I actually think I actually got bigger during baseball season. I was a pitcher, and I didn’t really do much running because I was in shape from football. I was basically one of the best players when it comes to conditioning wise on the team. I kind of blew up during baseball as a pitcher because I only pitched once a week. I would pitch 2-3 innings as a closer, and at night time they would actually give you a box of pizza. Sometimes we would have five games a week, so I’d get five boxes of pizza. It kind of sat on my stomach, without me doing much exercise or running, and I blew up. When I got back to football, the weight cut really quick because it was all extra and I didn’t need it on my body.
Q: Why’d you quit baseball? They gave you pizza.
A: Yeah, I know. They gave me pizza. I had the good life. I just felt that football was where I wanted to be. I had been playing that since I was four or five years old. I grew up in a football family. That’s just how it is.
Q: Do they actually know how to make pizza in Louisiana?
A: Yeah man. They got all that down, you know.
Q: Have you ever been to New York?
A: Other then when I came up on my visit, no. I didn’t really get to see much of the city. I hear it’s amazing. I just can’t wait to get out there for football, you know. I can’t wait to get out there.
Q: You said you are from a football family…did you put in a good word for your brother (LSU DE Rahim Alem) when you came on your visit?
A: When I went to the New York Giants on my visit, I talked about him. With me being close enough to my brother, I tried to say everything that I could about him to the Giants and all the teams I visited. I definitely put in a good word for him. Hopefully, in the next few hours, they will pull the trigger and bring my brother up there, too.