“Too Tall” Jones Talks To Joe

May 31st, 2010

One night last week, Joe had a chance to rub elbows with the likes of Cowboys greats Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Crawford Ker, plus former Bucs Chris Hovan and Chidi Ahanotu, as well as Stylez White. And Joe enjoyed talking to all of them. 

Luckily, Joe had his trusty recorder with him and pulled some of them aside for an interview. Here’s most of Joe’s chat with “Too Tall” Jones. The legendary defensive end shared some insight on the Bucs. … And yes, his friends call him “Too Tall.”

Joe: The Bucs drafted defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price  in the first two rounds of the draft, and they expect to start those guys and have them be pretty decent right off the bat. Isn’t that a lot to ask?

Ed “Too Tall” Jones: First of all they’re rebuilding. You can do that when you’re rebuilding. If you’re a team that’s projected to make the playoffs and do well once you get there, you don’t start two rookie defensive tackles. Boy, [those tackles] have got a lot to learn. But also, if you’re going to start a rookie, that’s also a pretty good position to put him because he doesn’t have containment responsibiliites. All he’s got to do is learn the system, which now, with all the minicamps they have, they’ll know the system entering training camp. And rookies, you know, they’re excited, they’re going to get after people. And that’s all you ask a tackle to do, disrupt things. So they should do well.

Joe: At defensive end, the Bucs have some young, pretty inexperienced players and Stylez White, who’s going to be 31. That’s almost an old man in today’s NFL. What do you think about that? 

“Too Tall” Jones: I retired at 40. It all depends how your body holds up. … … Jim Marshall would still be playing if he didn’t get hurt hang gliding. …I played 15 years and never missed a game. The only practice I missed was when my mom passed. I’ve never had a serious injury, knock on wood. I was truly blessed. So I don’t think Stylez is old at all, but I don’t know how his body feels or what it’s been through and how he takes care of it. But if you’re pretty injury free, then that’s not old. He’s playing now on his knowledge and experience, and that can get him successfully through another four or five years.

Joe: Could you have played at 45, if back in your day they had pass rushing specialists or guys who just played on certain downs or in specific situations like you see today?

“Too Tall” Jones: Randy White and I joke about it all the time, that we’d be playing now if they had what I call situational players. I played every down. …Now guys now before the game know that they’ll play 25 run plays or 15 passing plays. And I’m going, ‘I would have played forever.’ …The way they play now, they’re keeping everybody fresh. It’s working. The game’s changed.

Joe: How else have things changed technically on the defensive line over the last 30 years?

“Too Tall” Jones: I’d say that’s it, really. You still have to have talent to win games, and you have to have good horses to run. And you have to have good coaching, and guys who fit the system, which is very important.

Joe: The Bucs spent all those years running primarily one system or slight variations of it under Monte Kiffin, then they brought in Jim Bates to run a system last year, then switched back when Raheem went to defensive coordinator. Talk about how that affected the Bucs, or would affect any team.

“Too Tall” Jones: I always say anytime you bring a new system in or a new coach, you gotta give it three years. You gotta give it three years, and then after three years, you have to see some progress. It’s always been that way. Again, the ones who are not patient, I don’t see them winning many games. 

Joe: Like Danny Snyder?

“Too Tall” Jones: I don’t see him winning many games. It was that way when I first broke into the league. You had to give players three years, and a new system three years. …It’s still that way today. If you look at the teams winning, with winning longevity, they’re teams with a coach that’s been in place who has had a chance to bring in his players to fit his system.

10 Responses to ““Too Tall” Jones Talks To Joe”

  1. Negative Nancy Says:

    I guess Joe can’t call Graham and White ‘over the hill’ anymore. BUSTED!

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Another nice report Joe, from one of the greats.

    Dear Greg Olson,
    RUN the BALL!

  3. RastaMon Says:

    Does that mean Raheem gets two more years ?

  4. Dave M. Says:

    YEah really, Rasta. Don’t let the Glazers read this.

    Joe, you should write a book one day about what these players tell you that doesn’t make the Web site. I get the feeling that’s all the real juicy stuff.

  5. Eric Says:

    Two words:

    Ray Perkins

  6. RastaMon Says:

    naw….more like
    Richard Williamson

  7. Eric Says:

    Leeman Bennett?

  8. RastaMon Says:

    to get head to head with Leeman……Raheem would first have to be voted NFL Coach of the Year…..which I believe Leeman had

  9. Joe Says:

    Thanks BigMacAttack

  10. Eric Says:


    Your right, I guess there really is no viable comparison to Raheem.