|Chandler Jones on D&H: I could play a lot better||09.22.15 at 9:45 am ET|
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones joined Dale and Holley with Thornton on Patriots Monday to discuss the Week 2 win over the Bills. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Jones had a productive game — totaling six tackles and three sacks, but the fourth year pro felt like he could have played even better.
“Statistically, I would give it a high grade, but I don’t feel like I played my best game,” Jones said. “I could play a lot better. There were a lot of plays I left and need to improve on. That is what this league is about. You have another week to get better and I am excited to get better as the season goes on. Definitely we played good as a defense, but me personally, I felt there’s a lot of plays left on the field.”
“I feel like I could be more consistent in the run game,” he added. “Just getting better with my hands and becoming better with my pass rush. Even though I had some success rushing the passer, there were a lot of plays out that a lot people don’t see that I feel like I could have done better and that is what I am going to try and do as weeks go on.”
The Patriots defense allowed 80 yards on the opening drive of the game as the Bills went up 7-0 right away, but the defense was able to quickly make adjustments and limit the Bills to just over 70 yards of offense after the first drive to the middle of the third quarter.
“Buffalo is a great team. They are a really good team,” Jones said. “Tyrod Taylor, he’s a guy that can throw the ball well. When you have a guy like that, you have to try and contain him, keep him in the pocket and like I said, we could have done a better job than that. Like I said, we just had to out execute those guys and that is why we came out with a win.”
The game was chippy at times, which was something that didn’t bother Jones, especially given the environment.
“It’s always a tough game, especially going to Buffalo,” he said. “It’s always a tough game. It was very loud, louder than usual. The fans were into it. There were a lot of Patriots fans, a lot of Bills fans. It was kind of crowded. As far as chippy, that is just how it goes. I feel like that is how it is going to be every week and you have to prepare for it. You can’t be the nail, you have to be the hammer.”
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|Chandler Jones on Patriots’ approach vs. Bills: ‘Let the pads do the talking and not your mouth’||09.16.15 at 6:30 pm ET|
In New England it’s a much different attitude, as their focus is on the field.
“That’s how you’re professional. Professionals should carry themselves that way,” defensive end Chandler Jones said. “Let the pads do the talking and not your mouth.”
Jones said the Patriots’ approach has a lot to with the players Bill Belichick acquires for the team.
“I feel like we have a group of guys here, not to compare anyone, but we have a group of guys who are buying in 110 percent to what the coaches are coaching,” Jones said. “I feel like Coach Belichick does a good job of recruiting guys that are intellectual and have a lot of football smarts and they are able to adjust to things of that nature.”
The Bills are coming off a 27-14 win over the Colts in the season opener where quarterback Tyrod Taylor went 14-for-19 with 195 yards and a touchdown in his first game as Bills quarterback. He also poses a threat on the ground, as he ran for 41 yards on nine carries.
Jones knows the Patriots defense needs to keep him under control.
“This team, they are a very tough team, a very physical team,” Jones said. “Going back to the conversation with Tyrod Taylor, he’s a guy that can hurt you on the ground with his legs and he has a strong arm. You see in the last game they had he threw the deep ball to Percy Harvin. That’s something you have to contain.
“They have a very powerful offense and can take the ball the distance on any play. You have to be very aware.”
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|What to watch for in Saturday’s preseason contest between Patriots and Saints||08.21.15 at 10:05 pm ET|
Here are six things we’ll be looking for Saturday night when the Patriots meet the Saints in the second preseason game for both teams:
1. The young receivers and what they do with their opportunity: Last week against the Packers, it was Chris Harper (seven catches on seven targets) as the young pass-catcher who made the most of his opportunity. With Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and Aaron Dobson not likely to play (and Brian Tyms reportedly likely to sit), Harper, Brandon Gibson and Josh Boyce should get plenty of run against the Saints. The regular season is creeping closer; keeping in mind the Patriots had five receivers and Matthew Slater on the Week 1 roster last season (Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Kenbrell Thompkins, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson) and with Edelman, LaFell and Amendola locks this time around, there will be fewer and fewer chances for the youngsters to show what they have between now and the start of the season.
(In that same vein, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the touches that James White had last week. While he struggled at times in pass blocking, the young running back got more work than any offensive skill position player in the preseason opener against the Packers with 12 touches ‘ 8 carries, 4 catches. But that was with Brandon Bolden, Travaris Cadet, Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount on the sidelines. At least three of them figure to play Saturday against the Saints. As a result, White’s workload against New Orleans should be monitored accordingly.)
2. The young defenders and how they do with their opportunity: Last week against the Packers, the Patriots front seven was able to generate some good pressure early on Aaron Rodgers. Jabaal Sheard (who played 23 snaps) was in the backfield consistently when asked to rush, and drew a holding penalty. In addition, Chandler Jones had a sack, while youngsters Geneo Grissom, Trey Flowers, Dominique Easley, Malcolm Brown and Rufus Johnson all had their moments. Based on their practice schedule, don’t expect Flowers or Johnson to play this time around — instead, Grissom (who played 65 snaps against the Packers, second-most among all New England defenders) should get an extended run against the Saints in the race to work as a backup edge defender for Jones and Rob Ninkovich.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo: The youngster was up-and-down in the preseason opener against the Packers, looking very sharp at times and looking overwhelmed at others (seven sacks). While some of his performance against Green Bay should be taken with a grain of salt, as he was behind a patchwork offensive line and had nothing but second- and third-team offensive skill position players working with him, Saturday night should be an opportunity for him to bounce back. He’s shown nice mental toughness in the past, and an ability to rebound when needed. He should have a few more starting linemen and prime skill position guys around him on Saturday in the Superdome. Let’s see if he can answer the bell. (One way he could show some improvement is if rookie Shaq Mason improves as a pass blocker. While fellow rookie guard Tre’ Jackson looks more and more like a polished product every day he’s on the practice field, Mason — who came from a run-based offense at Georgia Tech and appears to be as skilled a run-blocker as we’ve seen in his first year — looked like he struggled at times in pass blocking.)
4. Tom Brady: While it remains to be seen how much he’ll play on Saturday against the Saints, it’s worth noting that he had a sizable workload on Wednesday and Thursday while working against New Orleans in practice. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a shock to see some of his usual workload cut with an eye toward getting Garoppolo as many game reps as possible.
For the record, here’s Brady’s workload and production for the second preseason game of the summer going back the last 10 years. (It averages out to 23 snaps.)
2005: 6-for-11 for 105 yards, 1 INT in 20 snaps vs. Saints
2006: 15-for-20 for 149 yards in 21 snaps vs. Cardinals
2007: 10-for-19 for 145 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs in 35 snaps vs. Titans
2008: DNP vs. Bucs
2009: 4-for-8 for 57 yards in 13 snaps vs. Bengals
2010: 10-for-12 for 85 yards, 1 TD in 24 snaps vs. Falcons
2011: 11-for-19 for 118 yards, 2 TDs in 25 snaps vs. Bucs
2012: DNP vs. Eagles
2013: 11-for-12 for 107 yards, 1 TD in 23 snaps vs. Bucs
2014: 8-for-10 for 81 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT in 22 snaps vs. Eagles
|Patriots, Saints not expecting to fight like Cowboys and Rams: ‘Competitive level is very high’||08.19.15 at 1:33 pm ET|
The video of Dez Bryant getting sucker punched in the face was likely all anyone on the Greenbrier resort football field in West Virginia had to see to learn an important lesson. Compete but don’t fight.
That’s what the Patriots and Saints began doing Wednesday morning when they began joint practices in White Sulphur Springs.
Patriots and Saints coaches and players were asked about the now-infamous brawl between the Cowboys and Rams Tuesday that spilled into a spectator’s area at the Cowboys’ facility in Oxnard, California.
“Obviously, when you go against a new opponent, adrenaline kicks in and the competitive level is very high,” Matthew Slater said. “It’s a very good football team we’re going against. The intensity was definitely up and I think it was good for our football team to get some good work today.”
Is there a conscious effort to stay away from the brawl situations that seem to escalate quickly?
“I’m not going to comment on those situations, but I know that Coach [Bill Belichick] has always stressed that we’re here to work and just play football, and that’s what we try to do is just try to play football and not let all that other stuff come into the picture,” Slater added.
Chandler Jones joked Saturday about how no one has ever challenged him in a football fight. He took a more serious tone Wednesday after practice.
“You understand that practice is going to be very competitive,” Jones said. “We’re out here to get better. That’s what we’re doing. Our job is to get better. The Saints are trying to get better. The Patriots are trying to get better. And that’s our main goal; that’s what we’re coming out here to do every day.”
Both Jones and Slater said they were happy to get on the practice field against another team Wednesday.
“I think it’s huge,” Slater said. “I think it’s very challenging; it’s a chance to work on your craft. I know for me, I get a lot out of these things, so I think it’s huge to be able to do this and simulate as best we can game speed in practice.
Added Jones, “It felt good to get out here and compete against a different team. You get a lot of different looks, and it’s good for our team.”
Jones said the tempo is similar to what he’s seen in the last two weeks in Foxboro.
“I feel like the coaches do a good job of getting on the same page and merging the practices together, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Jones said.
|Why no one ever messed around with Chandler Jones in a football fight: ‘I like it personally’||08.15.15 at 2:06 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The football scuffle that broke out between rookie first-round defensive tackle Malcom Brown and offensive lineman Ryan Groy is commonplace in NFL training camps.
As teams continue to practice and have players looking to make a statement, it’s not unusual for a fight to break out in the trenches. To Bill Belichick, the high testosterone is good for nothing but showing players how costly it can be to lose your cool.
When Brown’s helmet went flying, both players were kicked off the field. Brown, being the rookie, thought the lesson was taking a lap. He was informed when he finished that it actually meant hit the road that leads down the steps to the locker room.
“Can’t do it. Can’t be in a game doing it so I think Coach Belichick handles that situation,” Devin McCourty said. “It’s never a big deal. It happens. It’s over with and you move on.”
Ever thought of punching a helmet in the heat of battle?
“Nah, I never thought it would be good for my hand,” McCourty added. “Try to stay away from it.”
Chandler Jones had a slightly different take, he of the MMA family that includes brother Jon “Bones” Jones. The word “competitive” kept coming up in Jones’ characterization.
|Bill Belichick feels Jabaal Sheard has ‘done well’ adjusting to Patriots’ defensive scheme||08.09.15 at 1:00 pm ET|
Sheard was one of the Patriots’ biggest offseason acquisitions, as he signed a two-year deal worth $11 million after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Browns. He battled a foot injury for the final two months of last season, finishing with two sacks, but he did have 8.5, 7 and 5.5 respectively in his first three seasons in the league.
“I don’t think there’s been a huge amount of surprises with him,” coach Bill Belichick said Saturday. “He’s been in the league for four years. Mike [Lombardi] was in Cleveland with him, so we have a pretty good insight here. I would just say the system he played in there — he actually played in a couple of different systems there, and our system is a little bit different, so there’s been an adjustment for him there with some of our techniques or assignments. Overall, a lot of things that we do, he’s done, so there’s been a little bit of an adjustment, but he’s done well with that.
“He’s a good player. He’s long, has good playing strength, pretty instinctive. He’s played on the end of the line for his whole career going back to Pitt and in the NFL and now with us. That’s pretty much where he’s going to play for us.”
|Chandler Jones ‘hungry to have an opportunity’ to win another Super Bowl||07.31.15 at 1:01 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Just six months ago the Patriots hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLIX.
With training camp opening this week it’s a new season and the general message from the team is the Super Bowl is now in the past. Defensive end Chandler Jones admitted it’s hard not to think back to that experience, but he’s using that as motivation to get back there again this year.
“For me, from a personal aspect, it was a lot of fun going through that again,” Jones said. “Trying not to think about it is hard, yeah. But, knowing that task and knowing what you have to do to get back there and do it again makes you that much more hungry. That’s how I feel right now. I am hungry to have an opportunity to go out there and do it again.”
“The motivation is there itself,” he added. “We aren’t trying to focus on the past success behind us. Just the moments we’ve went through and been through. Last year makes you hungry enough to experience those things again.”
Jones reportedly had offseason surgery. It wasn’t reported what the surgery was for, but he did miss six games in the middle of last year with a hip injury.
He was mum answering questions on his health in typical Patriots fashion, as he said he’s just taking things day-by-day.
“Each and every day I am taking it a day at a time,” he said.
Despite the shortened offseason by way of winning the Super Bowl, Jones said it still felt long and was excited to return this week.
“Definitely. I was very excited to get back to football,” he said. “Even though we were one of the last teams to play, it was a very long offseason and he was excited to get back here and we were are at training camp.”
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