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NFL Lockout 2011: Thomas Jones Serving Role As Coach During Player Workouts

It's apparent that the Kansas City Chiefs are placing an emphasis on the right kind of veteran leader and character the first two years of Scott Pioli's regime. Currently, Chiefs fans, players and coaches are praising linebacker Mike Vrabel as he retires and heads to Ohio State as an assistant coach for his contributions in mentoring young players. Now the same is being said of running back Thomas Jones on the offensive side, as he is heading up player workouts for the Chiefs as a coach like figure.

Pro Football Weekly released their latest round of rumors, and the lead point concerns Jones' invaluable contributions in pushing players to show up in shape and calling them out when they are not:

One of the undisputed locker-room leaders of the Chiefs is RB Thomas Jones, and that has been apparent this summer, even as the team is locked out of their locker room. According to a report, Jones called some of his teammates "fat and out of shape" when the team met for some players-only workouts this summer. While the unconditioned players are a concern, having veterans like Jones step up as a de facto coach during the labor dispute is a positive for the team.

It's no wonder that Todd Haley loves Jones so much, since it sounds exactly like what Haley would say in his position. There's nothing a coach can enjoy more than knowing that some players "get" what they're about so much that the coach doesn't even need to be around. For those fans who can't understand why Jones get such a front-and-center role on the team, perhaps this lends some insight into a value that statistics alone cannot tell.