Jones strives to be confident but humble

Jones strives to be confident but humble
September 14, 2012, 5:23 pm
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FOXBORO -- So far, Chandler Jones has seemed comfortable talking with reporters.
Maybe too comfortable.
Friday, the rookie turned to face the media hoard in nothing but shorts and a white Patriots training camp hat. Quarterback Tom Brady yelled something over to Jones that set the big kid off chortling.
What was so funny?
"He told me to put a shirt on," Jones grinned.
The defensive end just radiates ease. Most impressive is the way he earned a starting role in the Patriots defense, and how quickly he did it. He's had just one chance to show his stuff in the regular season and made the most of it.
Five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Not bad.
"I wouldn't jump to that statement right away, saying 'I belong in this league,'" Jones cautioned. "I feel like the sack was a great play, but anybody can get a great play in this game of football. Like I said, I have a lot of work to do. This was just Week 1 and we've got a lot of weeks to go."
Jones' production, however small a sample it may be, might seem to butt up against his rookie status. But those who've been paying attention know it's a continuation of the strong impression he made in the preseason.
He did smile when talking about the way he got after Jake Locker.
"It gave me a little bit of swagger, I'll say that."
But not too much.
"Being humble is key because nobody likes a cocky player at all. There's a big difference between being cocky and confident. It's good to be humble, but it's good to be confident at the same time."
Jones appears to be both. No matter how he looked last week in Tennessee, it won't mean a thing this Sunday against the Cardinals. He's focused on constantly improving at defensive end, working to better his run-stopping ability and pass rush.
So even though he may have the public speaking thing down.
"I have a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do."