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Jets’ Interest Leads to Roster Spot for Grimes

Posted Sep 26, 2012

Jonathan Grimes knows it won’t be easy.

He understands he has a lot of catching up to do.

But he also is confident that he can succeed in his new home.

“I’m just going to work hard and try to be consistent,” Grimes said today following his first practice with the Jets. “I just want to get this offense down as fast as I can, and be able to contribute and contribute on special teams as well. I’m just trying to fill any gap.”

Grimes was signed by the Jets from the Houston Texans practice squad roster Tuesday. He said he always considered joining the Green & White as a potential possibility, but never envisioned it would actually happen.

“My agent would tell me they’re interested,” Grimes said. “I’m just like, all right, they’re interested. And then he would tell me again, they’re interested. I’m like, OK. And then they finally made the move, and I’m like, ‘All right, well, who doesn’t want to play in this league?’ You know, the practice squad was cool, but to have an opportunity to play and contribute to a team is pretty exciting.”

The running back was born in Willingboro, N.J., and attended Paul VI High School in Haddonfield. He admitted that when he initially heard he was going to be a Jet, he had a good feeling because he realized he would be closer to home.

“I know my parents, family, friends and everybody liked that a lot,” he said. “They can see a lot more games.”

While Grimes hardly knew anyone on the Jets roster prior to Tuesday, he did know one player: rookie linebacker Demario Davis.

“I trained with Demario getting ready for the combine at pro day,” he said. “We worked out together for what felt like forever. Maybe it was like a month. He’s definitely a really good guy, and I’m excited to be around him. I know how he works and he knows how I work. So it’s just good to be able to relate to somebody already on the team.”

Grimes said his first day of practice with his new family went well. He will join a rushing attack that features backs Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. And despite only having practiced one day with those two, he said they seem welcoming.

“They were helping me out,” he said. “I had questions and they would point me in the right direction.”

Coming from Houston’s practice squad, Grimes benefited from the daily guidance of one of the NFL’s strongest running back duos in Arian Foster and Ben Tate.

“Their work ethic is really good out there,” he said. “They’re on top of everything. Just different techniques, the way to press the hole and everything. They definitely know how to run the rock. They’re having great success out there and the whole Texans organization is a very solid organization. I learned a lot.”

Grimes even shared a personal Jets-Texans connection that he carries from his high school days in 2006.

“Back in the day, when Wali Lundy played for the Houston Texans, he actually hooked me up with some tickets to a Jets-Texans game,” he recalled. “That was my first NFL game I’d ever been to.”

Six years later, Grimes is officially a member of an NFL active roster. There are no guarantees if or when he'll be active on gameday, but the Jets will face his former squad, Houston, on Monday night, Oct. 8, and he said he will be eager for that meeting when the time comes.

“Of course, it’s in the back of my head,” he said. “But right now I’m only focusing on San Fran. I got a chance to see them in the preseason actually for Houston, so I’ve kind of got a feel for them and definitely have a feel for the Texans. I’ve been practicing against the first team for months now.”

Grimes put together a productive preseason with Houston as he carried 28 times for 130 yards (4.6 average) and one touchdown. He joins an organization now whose primary color is green. And interestingly, the primary color for William & Mary, Grimes’ college, is the same.

“That’s pretty tight,” Grimes said. “Now that I’m here, you’ve got a point. I am wearing my green now again. These colors are very familiar and that’s nice.”

Asked if the color was a sign of something that was meant to be?

The newest Jet smiled and answered, “It could be. Everything happens for a reason. All in God’s plan.”
Preseason Live: New York Jets

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