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Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones talks about game vs. Saints

Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Deion Jones
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How would you evaluate how you've done this year?
"I guess I've been doing pretty good, doing what the coaches are asking me and getting better week after week, laying it out there, laying everything out there for my guys. That's about it."

A lot of guys go in their career without a pick six. You have had two as a rookie. How does it feel to be able to help your team like that?
"We always emphasize getting turnovers. For me to be one of those guys who's doing that, it's just a reflection of what we do at practice and what we preach."

How much do you think your success as a rookie can be attributed to a fit with the Falcons defense?
"I would say my success has only been because of the leaders in our locker room helping me day in and day out. Guys like Spoon (Sean Weatherspoon), (Paul) Worrilow, Rico (Ricardo Allen) in the secondary, making sure I'm always on my stuff, keeping me accountable and teaching me day by day to be a pro."

What do you think of the new LSU coach?
"I feel good about that. I like Coach O. I feel like he's going to bring a new taste to LSU football. I can tell already, a lot of guys are with advisors and stuff like that. I'm excited to see what they'll do next year."

What do you mean by a new taste?
"Like a new swagger."

Do these games against the Saints mean a little bit more to you since you are from here?
"I guess you could say that, being from home, being from there, I want to win because it gives me bragging rights when I come back home, so I guess it kind of does weigh a little bit more for bragging rights when I get back home."

Everybody I know who went to Jesuit claimed they know you. What do you think of that popularity?
"Those are my boys. I'm a Blue Jay for life."

How would your level of success match with what you expected in the transition from college to pro football?
"Way beyond (expectations). I was just expecting to come out here and just fight day in and day out and give it all I have so I don't have any regrets at the end of the day and it turned out well for me. Like I said, the only thing that made this a little bit easier has been the leadership in this locker room. It wasn't all me, because they say you're a fool if you think you have it by yourself and I always give those guys props, because I feel without them it would have been a real rocky road."

Now that you've gone through virtually a whole season where does the Drew Brees pick six in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome rank among your personal highlights?
"I haven't even thought of it. I guess it's pretty high, because it's my first NFL touchdown, it was against New Orleans and from a great quarterback. I guess it could be pretty up there."

You probably had a lot of friends and family in the stands for that one?
"Yes, I did. I had too many (laughter)."

Were you a Saints fan growing up?
"I was mostly a Ravens fan, but I rooted for the Saints on occasion."

Was that because of Ray Lewis?
"Ray Lewis. That's my boy."

We asked Sean Payton about you earlier and he said the first thing that stands out is speed. You really ran a 4.38 at your Pro Day?
"Yes."

How much does that speed help you because there aren't too many linebackers that fast out there?
"I guess it helps me on sideline to sideline plays, chase after the ball if I have to and help guys in coverage."

You spent two years with Leonard Fournette as LSU. How do you think he'll transition to the NFL?
"Knowing his love for the game and how driven he is, I think he's going to do well, if you keep that mindset and hunger and just continue to have fun just like he's doing, he'll be great."

What's your thought of him sitting out LSU's bowl game?
"I'm pretty sure him and his family sat down and talked about it and found out that was his best route and the best decision for him and I feel like he gave all he could for the program, he played his heart out and if he feels like he isn't well enough to play, I don't think he should."

In your one year of being on the same football team with Ed Orgeron, was there anything he taught you?
"His love for the game really got me fired up. You feel like he's going out there with you to play. That's what I learned from him, keeping that fire, that love for the game."

What was harder to understand Coach O or Coach Miles?
"I could say Coach O at times. When he gets real riled up, it's hard."

It's just a bunch of loud jibber-jabber?
"Eventually you get what he's saying. Eventually it comes to you. It comes late though."

Being from New Orleans, does your family root for the Saints?
"No."

Sunday's game won't have a rooting interest in your family besides rooting for you?
"Yes, it's not going to be for the hometown, sorry. We have fully converted to Falcons fans. I'm sorry."

Were they Saints fans before or never really on the Saints?
"They were diehard Saints fans. Now it's blood is thicker than water."

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