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Thomas Jones clarifies comments about Favre
New York Jets running back Thomas Jones clarified on Friday his critical comments of earlier this week on Brett Favre, saying he would expect the record-setting quarterback to answer questions the same way about him if he had performed poorly.
"I've got most respect for Brett," Jones said in an interview on ESPN's "First Take." "He's one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He's a great teammate, you know, he brought a lot to our team this year."
Jones said his aim in doing a radio interview Tuesday with New York's Hot 97 FM wasn't to talk about Favre or the Jets but to promote his music business.
"I didn't go up there [to] participate in Brett Favre questions," he said. "So when she asked me the question about interceptions, I answered it, as far as how I felt from the game -- the Miami game."
Favre threw three interceptions in the Jets' season-ending 24-17 loss to Miami that clinched the AFC East for the Dolphins. The Jets' 1-4 finish kept them out of the playoffs and helped trigger Eric Mangini's firing as coach.
"The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. I mean, that's just reality," Jones told the radio station. "If I were to sit here and say, 'Oh, man, it's OK,' that's not reality. ... I don't like it, I know everybody else on the team doesn't like it.
"If somebody is not playing well, they need to come out of the game," Jones told Hot 97 FM. "You're jeopardizing the whole team because you're having a bad day. To me, that's not fair to everybody else. You're not the only one on the team. So when you get to the wire and somebody is just giving the game up, I mean, it's just not [fair]."
Favre threw nine interceptions and only two touchdown passes in the Jets' final five games.
On Friday, Jones said his interview with the radio station "got chopped up."
"I'm not the type of person that goes out there and just throws people under the bus or make comments about people," Jones said. "Either I answer a question honestly, realistically, or I don't answer it at all."
Jones said he limited the scope of his remarks to Favre's Sunday turnovers.
"The only thing that I could give my opinion on was the interceptions. And that's what I did," he said. "As far as him coming out of the game, that's not my call just like if I'm [in] the game and I'm not playing well, and I have two or three fumbles, that's not my call."
The nine-year veteran said he hasn't discussed the comments with Favre but likely would.
"I'll talk to Brett. Everything is cool with me and Brett. He's a great guy," Jones said. "We have a lot of fun over there at work. I answered the question. I would expect him to answer the question the same way about me if I had two fumbles and it was a situation where I wasn't playing well and he answered the question the same way. I wouldn't look at him any different. I wouldn't be sensitive to the answer because we all know in this league you have to protect the football to win."
Jones, who finished the season with 1,312 yards -- 23 yards short of his career high set with the Chicago Bears in 2005 -- was held to 23 yards Sunday on 10 carries. Leon Washington led the Jets on the ground with 60 yards.
"Bottom line, we make a lot of money in this league to go out there and make plays and win football games, and as a team everybody has to be accountable," Jones said. "I have a great relationship with Brett."
Jones said the team as a whole was ultimately responsible for Sunday's loss.
"We were driving and we were in position a couple of times. ... And it didn't work out," he said Friday. "Nobody's perfect, trust me. I'm not perfect by any means. Brett Favre's not perfect by any means.
"There's not one person on that team when we win a game. Everybody on that team contributed. The trainers, the practice squad guys, everybody on that team contributed. When we lose a game, everybody's included. Everybody could always do something better.
"So of course when things aren't going the way you want them to go it's not a personal attack on that player as an individual performance. We get paid a lot of money to make plays."
I hate it when players that criticize teammates then backpedal. Favre should have thrown in the towel at the end of last season. But it probably would have been intercepted