Ten questions about life away from football with Panthers safety Colin Jones:
Q. What was it like for a Texas guy to play in the Bay area?
A. I had a lot of fun (with the 49ers). I’m still in contact with some of those guys. I was known as the ‘boot man’ because I always wore cowboy boots. A guy called me a few weeks ago, ‘Hey man, I need that number to the boot store. I need to make another order.’
Q. Were a lot of guys wearing boots by the time you left there?
A. Oh yeah. The whole offensive line got some boots as rookie gifts.
Q. What’s life like as a special teams guy? It’s all you’ve ever known, right?
A. Yeah. When I got drafted by (Jim) Harbaugh, he asked me on the phone, ‘Do you mind playing special teams?’ ‘No sir.’ And ever since then, I knew if I was going to play in this league, that’s what I was going to do. And I love to do it, so it’d be tough to find a better job.
Q. Are you faster than people give you credit for?
A. I ran a 4.34 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) at Pro Day (at TCU), so not too slow. I take pride in my speed.
Q. Playing gunner on the punt team, what’s the most blockers you’ve faced?
A. I got doubled one time and ran into a third (guy) just fighting for your life. It’s pretty tough out there, but you just kind of scrap your way down the field and try to make a tackle.
Q. And then they made the rules harder on you (limiting how long a gunner can run out of bounds). How tough is that?
A. That is pretty tough. You want to stay consistently trying to get back inbounds once you go out or they’re going to call a flag on you. And they’re not going to call holding on the defense.
Q. Were you a Haight-Ashbury guy when you were in San Francisco or more Fisherman’s Wharf?
A. Our facility was in Santa Clara, so we (would go out) in San Jose. We lived in Santa Clara. A lot of guys lived in the same apartment complex.
Q. You fired up to play in Candlestick Park in its final season?
A. Yeah, I’m glad we get to go back and play there in the last year. It’s a fun place to play. Really historic. It’s a unique feel.
Q. With it right on the water, does the wind whip around pretty good?
A. It does. You’ll catch some wind and it’s moist. A lot of moisture in the air.
Q. You’re a hunter. Did you see the picture of DeAngelo Williams’ buck?
A. Yeah, I’m waiting on him to take me. He hunts not too far from here. We all just got some Mathews bows, so we’re pretty excited.
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