By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Cyrus Jones isn’t interested in talking about his disastrous rookie season, and why should he? This is the Patriots, where every year is a new year and the previous season doesn’t matter, even if last season was a tremendous one for the team.
The second-year cornerback out of Alabama played pretty much zero role in the positives of last season, as he had an incredible five fumbles in 19 combined kick and punt returns. He has yet to play much of a role in the secondary, but to the surprise of perhaps many around New England, he’s still in the fold.
That means he will still need to occasionally address reporters in Foxboro, which he did on Thursday, the final day of mandatory minicamp at Gillette Stadium. All in all, Jones had a successful minicamp, fielding all punts to him until making his first fumble on Thursday. He practiced as the slot corner on day three, according to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal.
Looks like Jones is ready to move on from last season and look toward 2017. He confirmed as much after practice when he spoke to reporters.
When asked if he has anything to prove, Jones said: “Nothing.” That’s the line that could easily be ripped from its context, but that won’t happen here. He continued: “I mean, it’s a no-brainer. You watch last year … as far as proving something, I just want to come out and be a productive player for the team. I’m not going into every day saying, ‘I gotta prove this, prove that.’ I’m just trying to come work hard every day and get better.”
It’s certainly for the best that Jones does not think about last year at all, or think that he needs to go out and prove anything to anyone. And honestly, if you thought Jones was going to get cut before getting a second season of development you’re nuts. He was the team’s highest draft pick in 2016 and returns are supposed to be his calling card. The Patriots have a competition brewing at the slot corner position. Jones wasn’t going anywhere, not this year anyway.
Jones appears to have put his first NFL season way in the rearview mirror. If he can turn things around in year two, avoid all those ugly fumbles, and perhaps even contribute in coverage, Jones’ rookie season will be a distant memory for everyone else.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.