When Jones attempts a spin, Smirnoff grades it "one out of 100." But, she says, that's an improvement because before "it looked like nothing."

Jones' mother has already booked her flight to Los Angeles to see the show live, and the wide receiver expects a few of his teammates to show up at some point during the season. He says Torrey Smith and Ray Rice have told him they'd like to be there.

When Smirnoff tells Jones he's giving her "about 10 percent of what she needs," he doesn't get angry or frustrated. He just mildly says, "I dig it."

Soon after, though, with sweat starting to shine on his brow, Jones has a little confession for his would-be audience.

"I gotta talk to the camera right now," he says, turning right into the eye of the lens. "This is real."

jill.rosen@baltsun.com

On TV

'Dancing with the Stars' premieres at 8 p.m. Monday on WMAR/Channel 2.

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