By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
6:23 PM EDT, May 31, 2013
It wasn't the foxtrot, jive or waltz dance routines that Jacoby Jones strutted through on national television, but the Ravens wide receiver's footwork was just as smooth.
The Pro Bowl kick returner cut soundly and accelerated past cornerback Jimmy Smith for a touchdown Friday afternoon.
This marked the final day of Jones' first organized team activity since finishing third in the Dancing With the Stars competition, and he didn't look rusty on the football field.
"I'm back in my element, man," Jones said. "Honestly, I feel like I never left. I never stopped competing. I went from football to dancing and right back to football, so I'm still in that competition mode. So, it's like riding a bike."
Jones partnered with accomplished dancer Karina Smirnoff and had to make several adjustments in terms of applying his athleticism to different movements and gaining flexibility. Although he carries the same weight at 215 pounds as last season when he had three touchdown returns, he appeared much leaner.
Now, he's hoping to use that to his advantage against defensive backs.
"I think it made me more graceful," Jones said. "I can never point my toes because I'm pigeon-toed. It's not going to happen. It helped me with my foot placement, though, and it made me more patient. So, it did help a lot. Usually, I'm the one walking around here half-dead, but that dancing got me in shape."
Jones caught 30 passes for 406 yards and one touchdown during the regular season before delivering a clutch touchdown in an AFC division-round win over the Denver Broncos and scoring twice in the Super Bowl on a long touchdown catch and a kickoff return.
Now, the Ravens are going to count on Jones more heavily on offense after trading veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers following a contract dispute.
"I think you are going to find obviously that he's going to get more opportunities," offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said. "He's obviously working his way back into football shape. He's in great condition. Obviously, it was pretty strenuous what he was doing. It was pretty challenging. It's not just like he is flat out of shape or anything. He's in great shape. He's working at it.
"He just has to get accustomed to catching the ball and those kinds of things. I do think he has the ability, there's no question about that. He can catch, he can run. He's still going to serve our special teams and serve them well in his role, but we will use him certainly as a big part of our offense as well."
With his fun personality, Jones was an instant hit on Dancing With the Stars.
He said he has no intentions, though, of becoming a dance instructor for his teammates.
"They're all just trying to get me to teach them to dance now," Jones said. "I'm not about to teach, I'm tired of dancing."
Well, not exactly.
Jones intends to build on his flamboyant repertoire of touchdown dances that got him invited to the dance competition in the first place.
"You think I was doing that dancing for nothing?" Jones said. "I can't wait to get in the end zone. I'm not going to dance until I get in the end zone."