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Jones has prepared hard for Patriots season
For Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, the offseason was dedicated to learning more about himself. The greatest jumps in Year 2 occur because players devote themselves to becoming professionals. Those who recognize that fact can excel.
But Jones also pushed to increase his upper-body strength. Remember, he was hampered by a pair of ankle injuries last season, and he believed he put too much stress on his legs, which possibly led to the ailments. Again, the ability to realize how the little things can impact a performance should go a considerable way in Jones' development.
The Patriots defense has looked strong in training camp, which is a continuation from its performance in the spring, and that assessment is without truly getting to analyze Jones, who has at least looked explosive in one-on-one work. But defensive linemen don't earn their truest evaluations from coaches until they can go full tilt against another team.
"I wish I had the length of Chandler," said Rob Ninkovich, who is Jones' pass-rushing counterpart. "I wish my arms were that much longer. He's blessed with those. He's definitely going to be a guy that is going to have a great year. He's had the first year of experience to kind of get the rookie jitters off so he can just go out here and play football."
"I feel a lot more comfortable, to be honest with you," Jones said of his physical wellness. "Not more comfortable as experienced. I'm not saying I've arrived or anything like that. I have a lot of work to do. I'm just speaking on a personal standpoint. I have a lot of work to do. I'm excited to get that work done and win some football games."
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