Written By: Dreadnoughts Insider
Matt Jones... WHO?! MATT JONES! Certainly not a big name player that everyone knows yet. But... don’t let that fool you. Not many at all knew who he was until last season. After being undrafted out of LSU in season 3, Jones landed with the Toronto Huskies as a free agent. The team parted ways with him shortly thereafter due to the team having an established starter and quality back up. This led to Matt Jones being out of the league essentially for the rest of that season and the following season before the Dreadnoughts finally came calling ahead of season 5.
Head coach Frankie J was entering his 2nd year with the team when he stumbled upon Jones and decided to bring him on board. The team was already looking for some depth at the QB position and Frankie J was always looking for a gem or diamond in the rough to try and mold. Jones sparked his interest and the coach saw the potential that no one else seemed to see in Matt Jones prior. The chance to take on a QB project and former RFL reject paid off big time for the Dreadnoughts right away during the preseason. Jones showed his ability to create plays with his legs and his drive to be the best he can be.
After a rocky start to the season, Coach Frankie J decided it was time to give Jones a shot as the starter after 4 weeks of inconsistent play from former starter Jake McBride. What happened then? MJ made big plays. MJ showed out despite being undrafted. Putting up passing numbers of 2,990 passing yards, 69% comp passes, 21 TD to 6 Int. Numbers aren’t too flashy right? That’s because he also RAN the ball 61 times for 565 rushing yards and 6 TDs! Imagine what his stat line could’ve been if he started week 1! The early success of Jones made the Dreadnoughts open up the check book so they could secure the guy they believe to be their franchise QB. A 4 year, 35 million dollar contract was signed by midseason and many still are not sure if it was too early to pull the trigger on a long term deal or not, but Matt Jones returned the favor for now by getting the team to the playoffs and a first round bye.
Despite the success throughout the regular season, the team could not get it done against the San Diego Red Dragons and were eliminated from the postseason despite Matt Jones finding some success during the game. With the Red Dragons going on to win the Relocation Bowl, the team isnt hanging their heads as much and are looking forward to the future now that MJ5 is in town and not going anwhere. Our very own Dreadnoughts insider caught up with Jones to ask him about his journey and future goals.
So MJ, I have to ask... what was your reaction when you found out you were named starter last season in week 5? What was going through your head?
When I got the call that I would be starting I was ecstatic. I was finally being given my chance to play. I called my parents and told them the news as they were cooped up as a big snow storm was hitting the east coast.
You had a nice win streak after coming in. Apparently the team believed in you as well after giving you that big contract. Did the big contract you receive after a few short games surprise you?
Coming into the live action for the first time since college was scary. I won't lie I just went through my reads and found the holes in the defense. When my agent called me about the contract extension I couldn't believe it, I was always told to bet on myself and great things would come my way. I was so excited to sign an extension in San Antonio
Your first loss came to the Celtic Tigers. How did that make you feel? Did you worry at all when tested against a tough team?
When preparing for a game against one of the best team in the league. It can be tough mentally as you start to doubt yourself thinking am I good enough. Not getting the Win against the Celtic Tigers was tough but I played a good game but just couldn't finish the deal. I said to myself just play your football and you'll be in the game in the 4th quarter
Did it hurt when you lost in the playoffs? Did you learn anything? Did you feel you didn’t have enough weapons?
When we lost in the playoffs I took it pretty tough. I let my teammates down in the biggest moment of the season. I can't be having those type of mistakes if I hope to be great in the league. When it came to play calling or lack of weapons, I can't say that we didn’t have a great roster and an excellent play caller. I just turned the ball over twice in the game. 1 being a fumble and the other being an interception. Without those mistakes who knows, we could win the game
What are you looking forward to most this season?
Looking ahead at the season we have some big match ups on the Schedule with the Chicago Cougars with Coach Roby leading the way. The Huskies with new Head Coach K and we get a rematch with the Red Dragons so that's definitely the match up I am looking forward to playing in
How far do you think you guys can go this season?
How far can this team go? It's pretty simple. As far as I can take them. The Relo Bowl is the ultimate goal but let's shoot for the conference championship. We made it to the divisional this past season. We got to take it one game at a time. Never let the moment out shine you
As far as the people who don’t know about MJ5, why should people, especially fans and new RFL fans watch you play? What do you want them to know about Matt Jones?
Why should the RFL tune into the MJ5 games? It's pretty simple I am electric and unpredictable. You won't know what you get until you tune in.
Indeed he is. Just as unpredictable as his life and professional career was, we are all in for big surprises and big things in season 6 and beyond! Dreadnoughts are happy to have MATT JONE5!