INDIANAPOLIS – He opted to play his college ball at UCLA, but Datone Jones knows all about Pete Carroll. And the Seahawks’ coach knows all about the versatile pass-rusher who had six sacks and 17.5 tackles for losses last season.
Jones first met Carroll when he was a sophomore at Compton (Calif.) High School and Carroll was coaching at USC. Jones said he has talked to Carroll, as well as linebackers coach Ken Norton, here at the NFL Scouting Combine and that they also hooked up at the Senior Bowl last month.
“They recruited me out of high school,” Jones said on Saturday. “Coach Norton gave me a lot of (grief) that I didn’t come to USC. But he respects my game. I love Ken Norton. I’ve known him since I was in the 10th grade.”
In an ironic twist, Jones played last season for Jim Mora, the coach Carroll replaced with the Seahawks.
“It was unbelievable,” Jones said of playing for Mora. “He’s a great guy. He’s a players’ coach. He’s going to fire you up. He’s going to expect the best.
“One thing he told us when he came in, in his first team meeting, he said, ‘If you have aspirations of playing at the next level, then I’m your guy.’ He said, ‘I’m bringing an NFL staff in here, coaches that have never coached college football before.’ He said, ‘If this is your senior year, this is your rookie year.’ ”