New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones is primed for a breakout year this season. The third-year sack specialist is looking to make a major leap after leading the team in sacks a year ago. With a much-improved secondary, Jones will have more time to get to the quarterback and he sees the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins new offensive line as a good test for him and the defense.
In a radio interview with WEEI Tuesday, Jones talked about his opponents and their revamped offensive line. He said, “This is a good team. They have a new team, they have new schemes. Our job is to come up there and be prepared and execute whatever the coaches preach to us the whole week during practice day in and day out.”
Preparation is what led to Jones posting a career high in sacks last season. This year, he is looking to top the 11 ½ sacks he recorded in his second season, but knows that will have to come against some of the best offensive tackles in the game, starting with Dolphins newly acquired tackle Branden Albert. Jones is more than ready for the test.
“Branden Albert is a great player,” Jones said in the interview. “This is his first year there over in Miami. He’s a very big individual. The thing that really impresses me is his footwork for his size, for his height, he’s a big guy, he’s even taller than me. And I’m tall myself. But his footwork is very, very good. He’s very trained to not bite on certain moves and certain things of that nature.”
Jones will have to rely on his speed and his secondary’s ability to keep Dolphins receivers in check. The third-year defensive end is excited to go out against Albert and sees the matchup as a “very good test” to see where he is as potentially one of the top pass rushers in the league.