When we spoke with Chad Jones on his conference call last week, one of the first things he mentioned was how excited he was about the team that drafted him. Always a Giants fan? Nope. He was just thrilled to be going to the same team as Corey Webster.
Both Webster and Jones grew up in Louisiana and played at LSU. Every summer, Webster heads back to Baton Rouge to work out with Tigers players and keep sharp for the start of Giants minicamp in late July. He’s been close to Jones for about three years now.
“I’ve been seeing him there since his freshman year at LSU,” Webster said in a phone interview with Newsday this week. “We text back and forth even throughout the season. I always wish him good luck. I do that with a few LSU players but Taylor is one of those guys who I’m always staying in contact with.”
So what does Webster think of Jones? He said the third-round pick should not be pigeon-holed as an in-the-box safety.
“He also can run and cover ground as well,” Webster said. “He’s a hell of an athlete. He’s great at whatever he puts his mind to. If he wants to do it, he can do it. He returns punts, returns kickoffs, he can help on special teams. He’s a really good, aggressive big safety. He likes to put his nose in there and he doesn’t mind getting dirty.”
Webster said he’ll try to make things as easy as possible for Jones, who has visited the New York area only once in his life – for a pre-draft workout with the Giants – and has never been to the city. When Webster arrived with the Giants in 2005, he found a similar mentor in Kenderick Allen, a defensive tackle who had played at LSU.
“I think that was the best,” Webster said. “He was a guy who had been in the league for a while, he was from LSU, and from Louisiana, It was nice to see a familiar face being a ways away from home. It’s a lot different up here. As important as anything else is having a familiar face just to make that transition easier. Not that you can’t trust any of the other players, but somebody from home that you know and you’ve been in contact with, that makes the transition a lot smoother and a lot easier than just being up here on your own and trying to figure things out.”
Webster should be able to help Jones a lot more, he figures, simply because they both play in the defensive backfield.
“Me and Kenderick Allen didn’t have a lot in common because he played d line, but it will be a lot easier for me to help Chad with different terminology and what to look at and how to study film,” Webster said. “Anything I can pass along to him that can help him with his transition from the college level to the NFL level.”
Webster also commented on the team and the new defense being installed by Perry Fewell.
“We’re getting familiar with him,” he said of the new coordinator while noting that he’s been impressed by the attendance at the voluntary workouts.
Terrell Thomas noted last week that he’s excited about what he called a “player-friendly” defense. Webster shares that optimism.
“We haven’t been through anything in quite so many details yet, but so far so good,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun this upcoming season and hopefully everything works out as well as it’s looking right now.”