ORCHARD PARK, NY – 24 hours. That’s how long it took Bills rookie, wide receiver Zay Jones to get over his costly drop in the closing seconds of Buffalo’s Week 2 loss to Carolina.
“I think if I would have made a spectacular catch; the game-winning touchdown, I would only have dwelled on it for 24 hours,” Jones explained. “It was tough, very difficult. The main thing for me is looking at the players in the locker room and knowing that I let them down in a sense. These are my guys, they’re who I play hard for. So to prepare all that week and not finish with a W, that hurt me.”
Jones admitted to not sleeping well the night after his miscue.
Whether or not the drop was entirely Jones’ fault, remains a hot topic among Bills fans. On the 4th-and-11 play, Jones ran a corner route out of the slot and found a soft spot in Carolina’s secondary near the right sideline. Tyrod Taylor’s pass came in high and behind Jones, who attempted to spin all the way around to make a leaping catch, to no avail. Taylor did him no favors but NFL caliber receivers make those types of catches all the time. Then again it’s not as if this is the first time a receiver has dropped a pass either, a fact that Jones was reminded of when former Bills wideouts Andre Reed and Stevie Johnson reached out to him personally.
“Stevie kind of brought up the drop that he had and it just shows you, man, things happen sometimes,” he said. “The greatest of players have dropped footballs before. You can start down the list with Jerry Rice, everyone has missed the football so it’s just something that I have to go through.”
While other players may use a mistake such as this as a motivational tool, Jones is taking a different approach by forgetting about it and moving on.
“It’s a new week,” Jones remarked. “So whether I made a spectacular one-handed catch or that drop, I would have dwelled on it for that 24-hour period. I’m moving on from it. I’ve had great encouragement from the guys in this locker room. These are the guys I’m playing for, so I’m excited.”
Taking 24 hours to cooldown seems to have worked wonders for Jones, who had tears in his eyes as he spoke to the media on Sunday, following the loss. Now the 22-year-old says he’s back to normal.
“I think everyone is seeing I’m kinda back to myself, I’m having fun again, I’m enjoying football again. It sucks what happened. It’s over, I’m learning from it, I’m growing and developing, I’m a rookie. But no excuses, just gotta keep moving forward.”
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