In his third season with the New England Patriots, defensive end Chandler Jones stood out in the 2014 preseason action with a team-high two sacks, as well as three tackles, resulting in loss yards in the team’s win last night against the Carolina Panthers. Jones somehow managed to stand above the rest of his line — one that is living up to standards and is filled with high-profile, Pro Bowl talent.
Jones has flown a bit under the radar this preseason due to big-hitter Vince Wilfork returning to the team from injury and the offseason signing of Darrelle Revis, both of whom are and will continue to be an intrinsic part of the New England defense. Jones, however, has the potential to have a 20-plus sack season if he continues to play at his current level.
With the Patriots’ defense expected to be so good, it may be difficult to stand out at times, especially for younger players currently in the shadows of older, established veteran players. Jones, at the age of 24, has begun to show leadership, willing to take charge and get things done for the good of the team. While he may not be the best when it comes to player coverage, his ability to break through an offensive line and blitz the quarterback was on full display last night.
Today, the rest of the NFL has certainly taken notice. Teams and quarterbacks should be less concerned with Revis and start to consider that Jones may be the guy to worry about come the regular season.