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Taiwan Jones’ path to the NFL included overcoming dyslexia

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So how does a tailback with undeniable talent and blazing speed end up at a school like Eastern Washington?  In the case of Taiwan Jones, it happened because dyslexia kept him from landing elsewhere.

He received the diagnosis as a senior in high school, too late to get into a school with a bigger football program, but not too late to help him qualify and remain eligible at Eastern Washington.

It always made me feel smaller,” Jones told Steve Corkran of the Oakland Tribune.  “I was struggling, while people were telling me, ‘You should get this.  What’s the problem?’  Now things are easier because I know that I can learn; I just need more help.”

He ended up giving Eastern Washington more help than they ever thought they’d get.

“I’ll never get a player like him again,” Eastern Washington running backs coach Chris Hansen told Corkran.  “We usually don’t get to touch players like Taiwan.  They’re going to USC and Washington.”

Jones’ speed initially landed him at cornerback, but his performance on the offensive scout team as a freshman resulted in a switch to running back, where he gained 2,995 yards and scored 29 touchdowns in two seasons.

So what will happen at the next level?  “He’s going to make those guys look stupid, too,” Hansen said.  “When he gets into the secondary in the NFL, he’s also going to make those guys miss.”

If that happens, Jones will make the Raiders look pretty damn smart for taking him.

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23 Responses to “Taiwan Jones’ path to the NFL included overcoming dyslexia”
  1. tfbuckfutter says: Jun 19, 2011 5:07 PM

    I was on board until I found out the Raiders drafted him.

    Now I think he’s overrated and was drafted 3 rounds too soon.

  2. rundmc81 says: Jun 19, 2011 5:28 PM

    The Raiders will make every secondary look stupid this year. Between McFadden, jones, Reese, Miller, Ford, Murphy an hopefully a healthy Schillens defenses are not going to know where the next punch is coming from. Al Saunders and Hue Jackson are offensive gurus. Hopefully the young o-line will be able to keep up!

  3. ditkadontbutkus says: Jun 19, 2011 5:33 PM

    Dyslexics have more nuf!

  4. duanethomas says: Jun 19, 2011 5:49 PM

    @ditkadonbutkus…..How?

    How do you misspell dyslexia and it in the headline and article?

    You are stupid, but I also imagine you also believe Da Bears are the best team in the division.

  5. joetoronto says: Jun 19, 2011 6:00 PM

    The weapons are there, that’s for sure.

  6. dbellina says: Jun 19, 2011 6:20 PM

    Hi, I’m Chris Hansen from Eastern Washington. Why don’t you have a seat over there?

  7. hobartbaker says: Jun 19, 2011 6:41 PM

    Occasionally Taiwan still runs right to left on the field when he is supposed to be running left to right. But not as often as he used to.

  8. sfwillis52 says: Jun 19, 2011 7:04 PM

    @duanethomas says:
    Jun 19, 2011 5:49 PM
    @ditkadonbutkus…..How?

    How do you misspell dyslexia and it in the headline and article?

    You are stupid, but I also imagine you also believe Da Bears are the best team in the division.
    ___________________________________

    Before you call someone stupid, you really should have an idea of what your are talking about. Not only are there grammatical errors in your post, but you have no clue that the group of people that suffers from DYSLEXIA are DYSLEXICS. Now it seems that you look like the stupid one. HAHA

  9. donterrelli says: Jun 19, 2011 7:30 PM

    I just hope this guy is successful and very humble.

  10. duanethomas says: Jun 19, 2011 7:50 PM

    @sfwillis52……Lol. So it seem’s…..You learn something new everyday….Hey when was the last time the Niners were relevant? 96/97??? Now let’s..HAHA!

  11. help me says: Jun 19, 2011 8:08 PM

    “Between McFadden, jones, Reese, Miller, Ford, Murphy an hopefully a healthy Schillens”

    ————————————————

    Yeah, but the problem is Jason Campbell and a O-line with three rookies, a second year LT and Loper who at best would be a back-up on most teams.

  12. sfwillis52 says: Jun 19, 2011 8:22 PM

    @duanethomas

    What exactly do the Niners have to do with the level of your intelligence?

  13. humb0lt says: Jun 19, 2011 8:24 PM

    Reality check for rundmc81…

    The Raiders have one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL – 23rd overall last season. Al Davis has assembled the worst WR corps in the league. Your most productive WR, Murphy, was the league’s 100th best pass catcher in the NFL last year. On most NFL teams Murphy is 4th or 5th on the depth chart or on the practice squad. None of your other WR’s could crack the top 150 last season. Darrius Heyward-Bey, your 2009 No. 7 overall pick, caught 1 TD pass all season. The Raiders don’t scare anybody’s secondary.

  14. albigverg says: Jun 19, 2011 9:32 PM

    Having DMC, M Bush, and Taiwan Jones is like having a Corvette, Viper and a Hummer.. Reese is a versatile Cadillac Ext.. Haha truck or suv whatever you need.. Love it

  15. bwisnasky says: Jun 19, 2011 10:43 PM

    humb0lt says:
    Jun 19, 2011 8:24 PM
    Reality check for rundmc81…

    ————————————-

    Humbolt… really.. it’s okay.. as a Raider fan that watched our window of opportunity close on us after the Superbowl against Tampa, I do understand your frustration… you too are seeing your team’s window of opportunity closing.. well…. personally, I think you’ve already seen it close… and without even a single superbowl appearance…. yes.. Rivers will probably keep you competitive for a few years.. much the same way Marino kept Miami competitive… but, just never quite could get to that big hurrah…. It’s okay humbolt… I understand your frustration..your pain… I have empathy… but I also find it freaking hilarious… Oakland Raiders AFC West Champs this year.. if there is a this year…

  16. piratebeard says: Jun 19, 2011 11:08 PM

    @ humbolt

    the raiders’ WRs don’t scare anybody’s secondary huh?

    just ask the chiefs about a player named jacoby ford who almost single-handedly beat them on week 9 last year.

  17. crise40g says: Jun 20, 2011 2:05 AM

    Taiwan undeniably has talent. Overcoming his dyslexia shows that he’s driven to succeed. Hopefully Hue can maximize his potential.

    Win, lose, or tie…Raiders ’til I die!

  18. tomwill21 says: Jun 20, 2011 10:39 AM

    Humbolt back again I see. Only three things in life are certain; death, taxes, and this unintelligent Raider hater making comments. Keep hating, my friend. Keep hating.

  19. tomwill21 says: Jun 20, 2011 10:50 AM

    On most NFL teams Murphy is 4th or 5th on the depth chart or on the practice squad.
    ———————–
    Says the guy who has Patrick Crayton (who was beat out by an un-herald Miles Austin and a terrible Roy Williams) as a #2 receiver

  20. tomwill21 says: Jun 20, 2011 11:00 AM

    help me says:
    Jun 19, 2011 8:08 PM
    “Between McFadden, jones, Reese, Miller, Ford, Murphy an hopefully a healthy Schillens”

    ————————————————

    Yeah, but the problem is Jason Campbell and a O-line with three rookies, a second year LT and Loper who at best would be a back-up on most teams.

    ————————————

    That didn’t stop them from being the 10th best scoring team in the league. The second year LT looked good and Loper played much while Gallery was out with a hamstring injury (2-2), so it won’t be like he’ll be missed.

  21. raiderinpa says: Jun 20, 2011 12:44 PM

    I just love it when I see a Raiders story on PFT. I know that when I check out the comments that some of the Raider Nation will be chiming in, but also, the jealous, football-illiterate will also be flapping their uneducated jaws…

    Anyone who fails to see how vicious the Raiders offense will be this season is in denial!! Get ready to be endlessly torched my boys in the Silver & Black!! Who cares about a porous run defense, if no one can outscore us!!

    I see Raiders dominance on the horizon!! Cue John Facenda and his line ‘Return to Glory’… coming to an NFL stadium near you…

  22. 808raiderinparadise says: Jun 20, 2011 1:31 PM

    I mean I truly believe Oakland is loaded on offense. Except 2 of the most important areas: QB & O-line. I expect Campbell Soup to have an improved year under Hue Jackson, but all those toys out of the backfield and WR’s and TE’s, FB’s … are negated if he can’t make throws without the run game. (see Pittsburgh and Dolphin games, killed!) The O-line is a huge issue as it has been for quite some years, I still know that Schilens is our best WR, then Ford, then Murphy … Schilens is made of glass but when healthy he is huge, fast and has great hands and delivers in the endzone; Ford will get the ball in many different ways, its time for DHB to at the very least gain some aggresiveness for deep balls, he burns DB’s and then has horrible timing and hands … I hope he turns it around like McFadden did in year 3.

  23. humb0lt says: Jun 20, 2011 1:40 PM

    Yo delusional nation – stoking the inner-state rivalry between the Chargers and Raiders makes the season more fun, the winning even sweeter. Nothing personal. Though I have to observe that most of you are ostriches.

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