This year, in honor of the NFL’s 100th season and Buffalo’s 60th season, the Bills will pay tribute to the individuals and moments that have contributed to franchise history. Recently, buffalobills.com caught up with former safety Henry, who played for the Bills from 1991-2000. Find out more about Jones’ tenure with the Bills, his current role as a father and coach and more.
1. What was it like to be drafted by the Bills?
That was a totally amazing experience. I knew I was coming to a Super Bowl team, [with] a lot of veterans. So, I was very excited. But at the same time, I knew I had a lot to prove to the guys on the team because it was such a good team. I really felt, even right after I got drafted, that we were going to be going to Super Bowls.
2. Can you describe how you felt when you first walked into the locker room?
That was a pretty awesome experience because watching those guys on TV, I knew they were Hall of Fame type players, All Pro players – even MVP caliber players. When you’re walking onto a team with those kind of people on it, it really sends a message to you about stepping your game up and being able to fit in with those guys. When you come to the Bills in those days, you’re constantly trying to fit in with those guys and try to play to their level and their standards.
3. Who were your mentors on the team?
Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett, Darryl Talley for sure [and] Nate Odomes. In my position group, Nate was a great guy. He taught me a lot about the league. I really learned a lot from those guys about being a professional, playing in the NFL and being a Bill.
4. Who were your best friends?
Like any organization, you’re going to have cliques or your best friends. I hung out with mostly the defensive backs. [My] position group for sure: Ken Irvin, Kurt Schultz, Thomas Smith, Kirby Jackson, J.D. Williams [and] Chris Hale. The thing about the NFL [is], the roster turns over every year…So, that can be interesting. But you’re going to make friends and lose friends. It becomes an interesting dynamic though.
5. What is your favorite Bills moment or memory?
There are so many. One that sticks out the most, and it probably gets the most play, is ‘The Comeback Game’ against Houston. That was pretty spectacular. I remember talking to Nate Odomes on the sideline right around halftime, about the offseason – what we’re going to do in the offseason. It was just so improbable, but we never stopped playing hard. We were kind of in jest, but at the same time, that’s one of the biggest memories.
On Jan. 3, 1993, the Buffalo Bills overcame a 32-point deficit to defeat the Houston Oilers in overtime. In honor of the 26th anniversary of The Comeback Game, we take a look at photos from the matchup and the tribute held at New Era Field in 2017.
6. Are there any big plays that stick out to you from your career?
My first NFL start, I had two interceptions. I’ll never forget that. My first start against the Rams [Sept. 2, 1992] – in this stadium. It was a beautiful September day. I was able to make two interceptions and never looked back from there. That was awesome.
7. What did you think of the fan base and atmosphere when you first got to Buffalo?
The mystique of this stadium and the fans is something that is hard to duplicate in the NFL…I used to love…when it got cold…in the fall, and everybody’s got the bonfires going [and] barbecue and all the smoke was over the stadium. It’s usually an overcast day and all the flags are waving. It’s a really powerful scene entering the stadium parking lot. Then you go into the stadium and everybody’s got their red, white and blue on and everybody’s so engaged in the game. [That] was the big thing. We went to a lot of other stadiums and [noticed that] people aren’t engaged as much…but the fact that every play, every tackle, it seems that the fans they’re involved in every decision the players make. That’s really special…I think around the league, especially at those times, there was nothing better than coming to Buffalo.
8. What was your favorite thing about playing for the Bills?
[It was] definitely playing with these Hall of Fame players [and] Hall of Fame coaches…The teammates. We had so much fun. The locker room experiences....And then of course, the winning. It makes it better when you’re winning as well. That was the best thing.
9. Did you have any game day rituals or superstitions?
I did. For whatever reason, I had to put my left sock on first. I still do that today. It’s a force of habit but I always had to put my left sock on first. That was one of my bigger rituals.
10. What is your favorite Buffalo Bills uniform combination?
I like the all whites. White pants, a white top [and] a red helmet. That was my favorite combo.
11. What do you miss most about playing in the NFL?
I definitely miss the cheers – the screams and the hollering. Even from opposing fans. Just the crowd noises in the stadiums. Going into opposing stadiums, the energy that the people give you when you have 70,000-80,000 fans, yelling for you or against you, is just really a feeling that can’t be duplicated anywhere else or doing anything else…
12. What have you been up to since retiring?
I am a high school coach, but I’ve been coaching track and field mostly lately. I was coaching football but now am coaching track and field. I’m looking to get back into football in the spring.
13. Where do you coach now?
Greater Atlanta Christian High School. I am a sprint and hurdles coach there and my youngest daughter [of three kids] will be a senior. So, I want to coach her through.
14. Do you think you’ve taken the lessons you learned from your football career and applied them to coaching?
Absolutely. I am always telling the kids, ‘Make the reps count. Don’t count the reps.’ – that kind of stuff. How to get through injuries, how to fight through pain, how to know when you’re injured or when it’s just painful [is what I help them with]. There are a lot of lessons from football or sports in general, that carry over to other sports for sure.
15. Do you have any other hobbies?
I like to golf…I try to golf [at least].
16. Do you have a favorite TV show?
I like [watching] sports. I did watch ‘Game of Thrones.’
17. Sweet or salty foods?
I prefer salty.
18. If you could travel back in time or to the future, which would you do and why?
I would definitely go back in time to fix the mistakes that I’ve made over the years.
19. If you could pick anyone from throughout history to have dinner with, who would you choose and why?
I don’t want to say the obvious ones. Maybe like a King Solomon or maybe even King David – somebody who rose to power and then fell and was able to come back again. There are some lessons to be learned from being able to overcome adversity, have adversity strike again and get out of it. So, that would be a good conversation to have with one of those kings.
20. What is one thing that nobody knows about you?
I like a lot of kinds of music. I like big variety – not just R&B or Hip Hop or anything like that. My favorite...channel is the acoustic channel. So, any kind of guitars. I like [the song] ‘Jolene.’ Dolly Parton is one of my favorites...