Will the Real Brandon Jones Please Stand Up?

According to reports, Brandon Jones is very interested in hammering out a new deal with the Tennessee Titans. If the new contract talks falter, Jones will become an unrestricted free agent later this month.

At first glance, re-signing BJ isn’t a bad idea. In 2008, Jones underwent a transformation from being an enigma to, outside of Justin Gage, becoming the Titans’ most reliable wide receiver.

However, there’s still a part of me that remembers the schizophrenic play of Jones during his first three seasons in the league, when injuries and the inability to fulfill his potential overshadowed his positive contributions.

Prior to last year, Jones was an extremely frustrating player to watch. Despite his tantalizing gifts, Jones wasn’t able to put it all together during his first three seasons as a pro. Inconsistency was the name of BJ’s game, as injuries and dropped passes emerged as recurring themes in his performances.

Speaking of inconsistency, that was the first impression he gave to Mike Heimerdinger during last May’s OTA’s.

“Brandon makes a big play every day, but he has to block in the run and he has to be consistent catching the ball. He’ can’t make a mental mistake every day…he has to keep concentrating.”

In a make-or-break 2008 campaign, BJ answered the bell with perhaps his best showing as a pro. Playing in all 16 regular season games for only the second time in his career, Jones snagged a career-high 41 receptions last year. Apologies to Justin McCareins, but it was Brandon who stepped up as the team’s second best receiver in 2008.

Head Coach Jeff Fisher was also impressed with the strides that BJ made last year. In his season-ending press conference, Fish offered a few words of praise to Brandon:

“I thought Brandon Jones improved significantly this year and I reminded Brandon about Derrick Mason’s road and how it took Derrick three or four years.” 

In an ideal world, Jones would continue his development and emerge as a Derrick Mason-like force in the Tennessee Titans’ passing game for years to come. However, that irritating little voice in the back of my head tells me that despite Brandon’s improvement, he still could be susceptible to falling into the trap of inconsistency that plagued his first few seasons in the NFL.

Despite my fears, you’ll get no complaints from me if the Titans decide to extend a new contract in Brandon’s direction. One can only hope that his days of being an enigma are long gone.    

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