At 12:54 a.m. Thursday, Ezekiel Jones was born. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones and his wife Whitney, a former Oklahoma basketball star, celebrated the moment, then Landry tried to catch maybe two hours of sleep.
He didn't have much time. More reps awaited him at Steelers organized team activities.
When someone aspires to be a starting NFL quarterback, which Jones does, it's hard to miss a day. Whitney reminded Jones of that.
"My wife is an athlete, so she gets it, you feel you have a responsibility to show up when you're supposed to be here," Jones said. "She was great. She was understanding. She was the one who told me to go in."
Jones took the first-team reps that day in replace of Ben Roethlisberger, who welcomed the birth of his third child late last week. Jones sent Roethlisberger a congratulatory text. Jones jogged off the field that day, then rushed back to the hospital. Jones joked the couple "went through the Old Testament, closed our eyes and picked a name.
"You never know you could love something so much," said Jones of his new son.
Jones experienced a rebirth of sorts last season, shaking off erratic offseason workouts to record 377 yards and three touchdowns in a game-and-a-half of relief for the injured Roethlisberger and Mike Vick.
Wide receiver Markus Wheaton said Jones surprised a lot of his teammates with his play last year.
The Steelers will give Jones every opportunity to beat out Bruce Gradkowski for the No. 2 quarterback job. In Pittsburgh, the best he can be is second place, and though the 2017 free agent said he isn't thinking about free agency, he has thought -- a lot -- about starting games full-time one day.
"If it's here, man, that would be unbelievable, and if it's somewhere else, that's always been my goal," Jones said. "Since I was a little kid, I've wanted to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I've got to be patient and wait for my opportunity. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, there's something else in store."