Brown's Lenoy Jones Has Faith During Tough Times
by Matthias R. Monschein
Linebacker, Lenoy Jones of the Cleveland Browns, is not a stranger to tough times in the NFL. Throughout his five year professional career, he has been with three different teams, two of them being expansion franchises. Starting his career in the City of Houston, he made the move with the Oilers as they traveled to the State of Tennessee to become the Titans. From there he played three with Tennessee before an ankle injury in 1998 forced him to miss almost half the season.
Jones was considered expendable to the team and was placed on the list of unprotected players for the upcoming expansion draft. In February of 1999, he was selected by the newly re-born Cleveland Browns.
Lenoy took it in stride an saw it as an opportunity to Glorify his Lord in a community that was in need of people who were not afraid to show their spiritual strength.
Lenoy's spiritual strength arrived in the spring of 1997, while he was still in Houston. He soon found out what a relationship with Jesus could be like and it began to transform his life both inside and out. He discovered faith in God and soon accepted the Lord with help from the Houston Oiler's team chaplain.
"It wasn't a thing where I was going through problems or I was just having a difficult time. The Team Chaplain just came up to me as I was sitting in my locker and asked me if I want to be saved? I did and it has been beneficial to me ever since."
Lenoy's faith has helped him again after suffering a knee injury last season, which landed him on the injured reserve list.
Lenoy is happy about the addition of head coach Butch Davis. When Davis took the reins of the team he brought a renewed sense of pride to the organization that was transferred to everyone on the team.
"When Coach Davis arrived in Cleveland you could see all of the small details that were being paid attention to. We covered all of the bases and nothing was being left out. He stresses studying and doing the little things. That's what football is all about. It's not a complicated sport. If you want to get in the upper tier of teams then that is the road you have to take and he understands that," explained Lenoy.
Lenoy has had to watch from the sidelines as his team jumped out of the starting gate in a season that could better be described as outstanding in regards to the prior two. Although his rehabilitation has kept him off of the field for over a year it hasn't slowed him down off of the field.
"My faith in God and my belief helped me to realize that I am going through this for a reason."
Jones is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes programs and dedicates his time to youth programs including Special Olympics, The United Way's Hometown Huddle program and the Thanksgiving turkey giveaway to low income residents in the Cleveland community.
"Having the opportunity to give back is very special to me. Growing up I wish I had a mentor or someone who came to my school and talked to me. I want to let them know that in spite of the difficulty they may be experiencing that they can make it."
Mentorship was never more important than it is today. After the events of last September, Lenoy understands the importance of reaching out to the kids now more than ever.
"Who would've ever thought that people would fly planes into the sides of buildings? That is something that no one has ever seen before. And you do not know what you are going to see the next time. It is important to let them know that you need to have faith and trust that God is in control of everything. Jones added, "Even though we are not in control of these events we do not have to be afraid because we have a God that loves us."