Jones, almost a Jet, not feeding rivalry's drama

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Jones, almost a Jet, not feeding rivalry's drama

FOXBORO -- An effort was made Friday in the Patriots locker room to get Chandler Jones to rev up the rivalry engine. Because he's a rookie, because this is Jets Week, Jones was asked if he's noticed a uptick in energy in advance of Sunday's game.
"We're 3-3 right now. That's not where we want to be. Personally, that's not where I want to be. You've got to win. You go in every week with the same goal -- to win. You've got to win the football game. That's every week. You have to have that sense of urgency to win every week. And that's our goal."
He was practically chided to not take the reporter's bait. But Jones held steady in his response.
"I mean, we just want to win," he laughed. "If you want to call this a big game. Personally for me, it'll be a big game -- that's my mentality every week. Against the Jets, yeah, it's a big game."
He almost ended up on the other side of the fight.
A few days before the 2012 NFL draft, ESPNNewYork reported the Jets were showing "strong interest" in Jones and wanted to move up to select him. New York ended up taking a different defensive end, Quinton Copes, at 16 overall, but Jones confirmed the team's early inquiries.
"Yeah. They showed a lot of interest. They showed a lot of interest," he said.
Meeting with the head coach was part of the process.
"From what I know, Rex Ryan's a great coach," Jones recalled. "I sat down and I interviewed with him over the draft. He's a good coach. He's very up to date on things.
"I went up there and we sat down -- he sat me down -- we went over a few schemes. Basically what every team does with you. We talked about my brother UFC fighter Jon 'Bones' Jones a little bit, but that's about it."
Both he and the Patriots seem happy with how the draft turned out. The rivalry aspect will be decided, as Jones wanted it, on the field Sunday.

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.