Patriots rookies learning through experience

Patriots rookies learning through experience
September 10, 2012, 10:31 pm
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FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knew enough to draft Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower in the first round of this year's draft. In Week 1 against the Titans, his decision began to pay dividends.

Jones and Hightower connected on a strip-sack Sunday, with Jones knocking the ball loose, and Hightower recovering it and running it in for a touchdown.

Belichick praised their efforts a day later.

"They're both smart, they've worked hard, and they've both been out there," said Belichick. "They both got a lot of reps on the field, so, that's always a good way to learn, is to experience it, go through it and make a mistake. Correct it, go out there and do it again and get it right. So, there's lot to be said for that.

"A lot of our young players have had the opportunity to do that. They've been on the field, they've practiced, they've made mistakes, they've gone back and corrected them and have gone back out and got it right the next time and have been able to move onto something else. So that's been a positive. Those two guys, they've done a good job."

Tavon Wilson was another young player who saw significant action Sunday. He also forced a turnover in Sunday's win with an interception of Titans quarterback Jake Locker. Belichick described what he's liked about the rookie defensive back so far.

"He's got good size, he's a physical player, and he runs well," said Belichick. "He'll mix it up in the running game and can blitz. He's done a decent job for us at that. He's still learning. It's kind of a new position for him, but he's picked it up OK. So, we'll see how it goes."