After the Buffalo Bills 30 - 27 victory last Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tyrod Taylor answered questions at a press conference as per the normal policy. To most, it seemed like a normal presser with nothing out of the ordinary said. I, on the other hand, noticed a two word phrase he used, and it piqued my interest. Tyrod said;
"To have Taiwan come in and make a play, something that we’ve sprinkled in throughout practice. Complete trust in him and we call him crazy legs but whenever he gets the chance to make a play, he makes it in practice and he had an opportunity today in the game and he did."
After hearing this, I wondered, Did Tyrod really just call Taiwan Jones "crazy legs"? What did he mean by that? Can legs actually be crazy? I had more questions than answers. I knew as a "journalist" that I had a responsibility to look into this further. I decided to take a deep dive into Jones' past to see if I could uncover any clues.
Taiwan attended Eastern Washington University in 2007 where he was originally intended to be a cornerback. In 2008, his first year after being red-shirted, he broke his fibula and missed most of the season but was able to come back for four games at the end. The next year, the coaching staff noticed something different about his legs but couldn't quite figure out what it was. They decided to switch him to running back to see what he could do.
This seemed strange to me. The guy broke a bone in his leg, played a few games at cornerback, and then was asked to switch positions the next year. I decided to look into the treatments he got and that's when I discovered the origin of his nickname crazy legs.
Jones was so desperate to get on the field in his first season with Eastern Washington that he looked up alternative treatments to his injury. He read about one theory from Dr. Gary Busey, who noticed that "crazy" people have an extraordinary ability to recover from injuries and damage suffered during their outbursts. He came up with the idea to use stem cells from only patients who were declared medically insane to see if broken bones would heal better.
Taiwan Jones was his first patient and boy did those injections pay off. On his first collegiate rushing attempt, Jones rushed for an 87 yard touchdown. The doctor was watching from the sideline and couldn't help but smile. He knew his treatment worked.
In 2010, Jones broke his foot towards the end of the season. Despite the injury he declared for the NFL Draft. Once again, he knew he needed to heal fast if he was going to be ready for his pro day and so he sought out Dr. Gary Busey for another treatment for his foot injury.
The Oakland Raiders drafted Jones in the fourth round where he mostly used his crazy legs on special teams. They were apparently not impressed with the craziness of his legs and switched him to cornerback in 2013. When Jack Del Rio Jr. showed up to coach Oakland in 2015, he switched him back to running back.
With all the position changes back and forth dating back to college, Jones' legs began to become even crazier not knowing whether they were the legs of a running back or cornerback. He needed to be in a supportive environment where his legs could focus on being one or the other.
Sean McDermott, who is known for being meticulous, had already discovered what I am telling you now. He made sure the Buffalo Bills pounced on Jones when he was released by the Raiders.
McDermott was excited to speak with Taiwan for the first time. When they did, Sean let him know that the team was here to support him and that no one was here to judge him or his legs. Just like Frank Ricard from the movie Old School, "he was in the trust tree, in the nest".
Taiwan Jones responded positively to his new environment and it showed in his performance. On a key 3rd and 9, with the game tied, the Bills did a quick toss to Jones who used his legs, and all the crazy that comes with them, to make some shifty moves on the way to an 11 yard gain. The play moved the Bills deep into Tampa Bay territory ultimately setting up the game winning field goal.
The signing of Taiwan "Crazy Legs" Jones paid off in a big way this past Sunday. Sean McDermott was rewarded with a victory for his diligent research into Taiwan's past. Now that Jones' secret is exposed, I expect him to let the cat out of the bag in the near future and show off just how crazy those legs can be.