BOSTON (CBS) — Chandler Jones is now in his third NFL training camp with the Patriots, and like most people in New England, is expecting big things out of the New England defense in 2014.
Jones played nearly every snap on the Patriots defensive line in 2013, recording 11.5 sacks in the process, and is ready to do the same if that’s what head coach Bill Belichick asks him to do. With his array of moves at the line and a better understanding of the NFL game, Jones could be in line to put up even bigger numbers in 2014.
Jones joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak after practice on Friday, and said he worked to improve his overall game this offseason.
“I’m trying to become a better defensive end; a better run-stopper and pass-rusher all in one,” Jones told Zolak on the field. “I did a lot of work in the weight room, working on my lower-body strength and to become better overall.”
Even though he’s played in just 30 NFL games, Jones said things have been slowing down for him on the field.
“It’s a lot slower [this year], even with only two days of camp down,” he said. “In my rookie camp I came in and was just doing what the coaches were telling me, basically doing what I was doing to get by in college. In year two it was a little slower. I started to recognize different plays and formations that teams were giving me, and now in year three I’m really excited for me and my teammates to hit the field.”
Jones is excited to have Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly back on the line next to him after the veterans missed significant time due to injury last season, and was happy to see the addition of veteran lineman Will Smith this offseason. Jones has already picked Smith’s brain in camp, and has learned a few new things from the nine-year pass-rusher.
The signings of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to the secondary are also welcome additions that will make life easier for Jones and the rest of the defensive line.
“I’m truly excited to be on the field with Vince Wilfork, Darrelle Revis, Tommy Kelly and Brandon Browner. They’re great players and I’m excited to step foot on the field with those guys. I feel we all work together as a team,” said Jones.