Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jones priming to work with newcomers Easley, Smith


New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, a former first-round pick, has seen his fair share of the field during the first two seasons of his career, having been thrust onto the field Week 1 of his rookie campaign to shore up a depleted Patriots pass rush.

Finally, the third-year pro is getting some help in the trenches.

Aside from preparing himself for the upcoming season, Jones, now a veteran of sorts, has also turned toward helping out the newcomers in Foxborough.

Jones told ESPN Boston Tuesday that he has spent some time speaking with this year's first-round draft pick—defensive end Dominique Easley. He's also watched some film of Easley to get a feel for the way his new teammate works.

"He looks good," Jones said. "He looks like a great player. I've been watching his highlights; he was getting a lot of penetration, and that's definitely key on the defensive line. I'm excited for him to be part of the New England Patriots and make some big plays."

Albeit bringing much more experience, former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith is also set to begin his first season with the Patriots. Smith provides talent and depth to the pass rush behind Jones and Rob Ninkovich, much to the former's delight.

Jones called Smith a great player, touting himself as a "big fan" of the 32-year-old's "finesse" moves and ability to keep the offensive line guessing.

It will be interesting to see the newly reloaded pass rush New England sends out on the field for the 2014 season. At worst, the offseason's moves provide the talented Jones and reliable Ninkovich with  much-needed breathers.

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