Everyone in the NFL will tell you the jump from year one to year two is the biggest in a young player’s career.

For Zay Jones the offseason between year one and year two was anything but easy. There was a knee injury and the arrest in Los Angeles.

Zay doesn’t see that offseason as a problem. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

“I think that the offseason going like I didn’t want it to go was probably the best thing for me,” Jones said. “I’ve learned a lot from those instances. Who knows where I would have been, but I like the pace that I’m going on. 

“I think our medical team has done a good job in terms of getting him to a spot where he can go out there and function,” Sean McDermott said. “The rest of the credit really goes to Zay.” 

At East Carolina, Jones says he was a nobody the first two seasons. He had to learn and grow into the NFL prospect that attracted the Bills. 

A similar growth process could be happening now in Buffalo. The difference in the NFL is no one gets to learn and grow in anonymity. 

“You have to be more mindful of the things that you do because, billion dollar company is investing in you and you have a job and more responsibilities,” Jones said. “You have to grow up and you have to learn a lot. As far as the X’s and O’s, ball is just ball. It was only going to take time.”

Micah Hyde says every NFL player will go through adversity. No matter how big or strong or fast a player is, if they can’t handle the mental side, they don’t last long. 

“I’ve seen guys tap out and that’s why I have a lot of respect for Zay because he didn’t do that,” Hyde said. 

Jones says he’s not one of those guys who stares at his stats daily, but he does admit he’s happy to see all his hard work the last two years starting to bear some fruit.

“I’m proud of what I’ve done,” Zay said. “But, I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface.”