|Julian Edelman on MFB: ‘We didn’t worry about what everyone else was saying’||10.06.14 at 12:55 pm ET|
Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and defensive end Chandler Jones joined Middays with MFB on Monday, following Sunday’s 43-17 victory over the Bengals. To hear the interviews, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots were coming off a challenging week — a Monday night blowout loss to the Chiefs followed by days of reports about alleged rifts between players and coaches.
“All that aside — we ignore the noise around here — it was good to go out there and play a tough opponent in the Cincinnati Bengals on prime-time TV and go out and get a win and do some good things on that night,” Edelman said. “We have some stuff to fix. We have to turn it around, we have a quick turnaround for a divisional game with Buffalo, which is going to be a tough one [with] them coming after a win. But it was definitely good to get a win.”
Added Edelman: “We didn’t worry about what everyone else was saying about everything. We kind of just stuck together as a team and focused on the Cincinnati Bengals, because we really didn’t have a choice. It was a short week, they’re a tough opponent, they were 3-0. We had no choice but to just put our hard hats on, bring the lunch pail to work and then go out and grind out a good week of work.”
Jones said the team had a good week of practice leading up to the Bengals game, but he said it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
“Honestly, practice is always intense over here with the Patriots,” Jones said. “That’s what I like. Even if we win or if we had lost, no matter what the score is, that’s how I expect it next week, even though we did win this week. Our practice is always going to be intense. That’s how things are here.
“And I want to add to that: I also feel like the players, even in the locker room, we knew what we had to do. Not even down on ourselves because of the loss, but it’s like we knew what we had to do this week, and we went out and did what we had to do.”
|DB Nate Ebner (finger), OL Cameron Fleming (finger) miss Wednesday practice||10.01.14 at 6:41 pm ET|
Defensive back Nate Ebner (finger) and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (finger) were the only two Patriots held out of practice by the team on Wednesday because of injury.
In addition, the Patriots listed four as limited, a group that includes linebackers Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh), as well as defensive end Chandler Jones (shoulder).
The Patriots continue preparing for their date with the Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
Did Not Participate
DB Nate Ebner (finger)
OL Cameron Fleming (finger)
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
DE Chandler Jones (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Chandler Jones: Patriots defense ‘takes pride’ in forcing turnovers||09.24.14 at 6:11 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Having the best turnover differential in the NFL is something the Patriots have a lot of satisfaction in.
The Patriots defense has forced eight total turnovers in the first three games – six interceptions and two fumbles — and along with two giveaways by the offense, New England is tied for the league-lead in turnover differential at plus six with the Bengals.
“For the defense to get a turnover that can be huge for the offense and it’s something that we take pride in. Get the ball to the offense,” defensive end Chandler Jones said.
The defense’s eight forced turnovers are tied with the Bears for the most in the NFL.
“That is a credit to the defense working together and also credits the coaches and their game plans and play calling,” Jones said. “Coach [Matt] Patricia and Coach [Bill] Belichick do a good job of calling blitzes and when to drop into coverage — things of that nature to confuse the offense a little bit or even the quarterback.”
While Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has thrown three interceptions so far this season, he’s known as being a game-manager and not turning the ball over much – not throwing more than seven interceptions in each of the last three seasons.
Smith is in his 10th season in the league, spending his first seven with San Fransisco, so the Patriots know they will have their work cut out for them Monday Night on the road.
|Bill Belichick on Chandler Jones and Patriots: ‘There are a lot of things that we’re doing better’||09.23.14 at 9:39 pm ET|
An evolution is taking place in the Patriots defense. And it’s an evolution Patriots fans have seen before.
Chandler Jones was drafted in 2012 as an edge-rushing defensive end out of Syracuse. Bill Belichick saw more than just a pass rushing specialist. He saw someone who had the potential, with the right guidance, who could learn how to drop back in coverage as an outside linebacker.
Now, in his third season, Jones is growing into the hybrid edge position.
“He’s done well,” Belichick said Tuesday of the hybrid position. “Chandler’s got good physical skills, does a good job. He’s long, he has good playing strength, he’s able to use his length to his advantage. He’s certainly gotten better at that each year since he’s been here.
“He’s been durable, tough, been out there, played a lot of plays and has good durability and stamina. He has the ability scheme-wise ‘ he’s a smart player ‘ he has the ability to do multiple tings for us defensively in terms of playing on the tackle, playing on the tight end, playing on space, playing in coverage. He’s been a versatile player. He’s done a real good job.”
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jones has had breakout games from the moment he broke into the NFL in Sept. 2012 in Tennessee, with a strip-sack and a dominant game in his career debut. This year, he had another one of those games in Minnesota with eight tackles, two sacks and his blocked field goal attempt return for a touchdown.
Patriots fans will, of course, recall another player – Willie McGinest – who played a very similar role with a very similar body type (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) on the dominant Patriots defenses of the early 2000s.
“There’s an awful lot of people in the NFL that do those things, obviously some better than others,” Belichick said. “Some players are better going forward than going backward in coverage. Some guys are probably better in coverage than they are going forward rushing the passer and playing the run.”
Why has Belichick shown confidence this season in switching Jones back and forth between an edge rusher and an outside linebacker? Part of it has to do with disguising 3-4 and 4-3 fronts and some of it has to do with Jones’ ability to transition well.
“Some guys are pretty good at both and I would put Chandler in that category,” Belichick said. “We’re seeing two good guys this week from Kansas City, same type players that can set the edge, that are strong run players, athletic, can play in coverage, great pass rushers. It will be several of those guys on the field this week.”
After being asked about Jones, Belichick was asked point blank if he is seeing significant improvement over the first three weeks.
“As a team yeah, definitely,” Belichick said. “I don’t think there’s any question about it. Yup, there are a lot of things that we’re doing better. I think each week the competition gets better too. There are teams that are where they were in September and where they are now at the end of the month and heading into October, they’ve improved, too.
“We just have to keep grinding it out but I think we are doing things a lot better than we did them a month ago. Hopefully we’ll continue on that same trend. But I think we’re seeing the same thing from our opponents around the league too. Everybody around the league is getting better.”
|Chandler Jones on MFB: ‘Definitely could have done better, but a win is a win’||09.22.14 at 1:10 pm ET|
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, part of a defense that has allowed just 16 points combined in the last two games, made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday to recap Sunday’s win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Jones and his teammates kept the Raiders out of the end zone in a 16-9 victory, but he said there are plenty of things the team needs to work on.
“I feel like we also have room for improvement, always room for improvement,” Jones said. “We definitely could have done better, but a win is a win, and we’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s our thing is to keep moving forward.”
Jones was complimentary of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr last week, and he said Carr was quick to offer thanks — among many comments he made during Sunday’s contest.
“I spoke to Derek Carr during the game, actually,” Jones said. “He was one of the quarterbacks that actually spoke the most — most of any quarterback I’ve ever played against. … Not trash, not trash at all. Stuff like [saying hello]. Or, ‘You’re not going to catch me. It was strange.”
Added Jones: “I had said in an interview before the game, I don’t see Derek Carr as being a rookie quarterback — which I don’t, he’s a very good player. I guess he’s one of those guys who reads articles about him, because early in the game he came up to me and said ‘Hey, Chandler, I really like what you said about me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, thanks.’
“He’s a really good quarterback. He’s a very good quarterback. We didn’t get a chance to get him, because that’s credit to him. He has very good awareness in the pocket. There were a few times when I would have got another quarterback or someone that stood back there. He got away from me a few times, which is credit to him. He has very good scrambling abilities. He’s a young quarterback; I still don’t see him as a rookie quarterback. He’s a good player.”
|Patriots looking forward to Sunday’s home opener vs. Raiders||09.20.14 at 8:00 am ET|
FOXBORO — It’s no secret the Patriots are one of the most dominant teams in the NFL at home.
Since 2002 New England is 81-15 in the regular season at Gillette Stadium — the best winning percentage (.844) by almost 100 points to the second best team in the NFL — the Ravens at .755. Home openers have also gone in the Patriots favor as since the stadium opened in 2002, they are 11-1 in home openers, winning by an average of 9.2 points.
To no one’s surprise, the team is looking forward to Sunday’s first game of the season at Gillette Stadium when it hosts the Raiders.
“Honestly, personally I can’t wait,” defensive end Chandler Jones said. “I really can’t wait to run out of the helmet here at Gillette Stadium — just the feeling that we have playing here at Gillette Stadium is a feeling you can’t explain and I can’t wait for it.”
Sunday’s game will be a special one for running back Stevan Ridley whose dad’s favorite team was the Raiders and he has 14 family members coming to town for the game.
“My mom’s very excited about it — the family is going to be here so it’s going to be an exciting atmosphere coming back to Foxboro and getting in the home stadium,” said Ridley. “We’re looking forward to it not being on the road — coming back to New England and playing Patriots football.”
Ridley had a strong game the last time the Patriots faced the Raiders in 2011 when he ran for 97 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries in a 31-19 Patriots victory. The game was played at the O.co Coliseum.
After playing the first two games on the road this season, the team is ready to open its home portion of the schedule.
“It’s good when you’re at home playing in front of your own fans,” Ridley said. “We go to away stadiums and our fans are way up top in the nosebleeds somewhere and you don’t really hear them. There is nothing like being here. We know they love the Patriots here. We love playing at home. It’s going to be exciting and we just have to start a streak here this year. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past, let’s get off to 1-0 right here at home.”
Oakland comes into Sunday’s game 0-2 — traveling back to the East Coast for a second time in three weeks before going to London after the game for their Week 4 matchup with Miami. Even with the struggles Oakland has had, being outscored 49-28 in the two games, the Patriots are focused on opening the year with a win at home.
“That will be a great statement to get in a win in front of our home crowd and that is our goal, just to get a win,” Jones said.
|Chandler Jones: ‘Whenever you can get the ball into [Tom Brady's] hands good things will happen’||09.17.14 at 5:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Winning the turnover battle is one of the biggest keys to winning each week in the NFL, regardless of the opponent.
Since 2000, the Patriots are 116-12 when winning the turnover battle, compared to 27-37 when they don’t. Even further, New England is 97-5 since 2003 when having a plus turnover margin.
The Patriots have won the turnover battle in each of the first two games this season and are tied for the lead the AFC with a plus five turnover differential. They are also tied for second in the entire NFL, with only the Panthers having a better differential at plus six.
“We try and emphasize on just getting the ball,” defensive end Chandler Jones said. “Turnover differential, turnover margin, we just have to win always. We try and get the ball back into our offenses hands and whenever you can get the ball into Tom’s hands good things will happen.”
Although Jones didn’t have any of the four Patriots turnovers against the Vikings, he did have a monster game. Jones blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown to give New England a 24-7 halftime lead. He also finished the game with eight total tackles and his fifth career two-sack game. For his performance he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
“Our defense played very well, but there is always room for improvement,” said Jones. “As far as the Player of the Week thing, that’s our defense. It’s a defensive effort, it’s all 11 men on the field. We play hard out there and the biggest thing is moving forward to Oakland.”
The defense enters Sunday’s home opener against the Raiders ranked fourth in the NFL in total defense. They will have a chance to build even more confidence as the Raiders come into the game with the second-worst ranked offense in the entire league.
After allowing 33 points in Week 1, the defense rebounded nicely only allowing seven last week against the Vikings, partly because of the team’s preparation leading up to the game – something they are already hard at work on getting ready for Week 3 and the Raiders.
“I feel like we went out there and we saw the results of buying into what the coaches said and doing our job — executing, paying attention to detail, the little things that coach said trying to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” Jones said. “It definitely showed out there when we go out and execute.”
Latest from Bleacher Report
- How Big of an Impact Will Easley Make for Pats?
- Patriots' Top Offseason Moves
- Assessing Every Patriots UDFA's Chances of Making the Roster
- Projecting Patriots' Roster Battles This Offseason
- Ranking Pats' Remaining Offseason Priorities
- Early Projections for Patriots' Final 53-Man Roster
- In-Depth Look at Each Pats Draft Pick