Chung: 'We don't pay attention' to noise

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Chung: 'We don't pay attention' to noise

FOXBORO -- Questioning the strength of New England's secondary isn't going to stop until the group's play makes it stop. And every single member of the unit is aware of that fact.
On Thursday, Patrick Chung said they have their own way of dealing with doubters.
"We dont pay attention to that. We havent even played a game yet, so well find out. Were just going to play ball, play to the best of our abilities and then well see what happens after that.
The 'Us against the world' mentality that was born from 2011's struggles is still alive and well. But the Patriots secondary isn't trying to survive on attitude alone.

Objectives have been outlined.
Consistency is number one. You have to be able to make plays consistently, like boom, boom, boom, boom. It cant be good play, bad play, good play, bad play. Being consistent is number one on the back end, because if you mess up on the back end its a touchdown. So we have to be on the same page and everybody has to know what theyre doing so those plays never happen."

Having an entire offseason to work against Tom Brady should help. Today, the secondary finally seemed to get the better of him, forcing multiple interceptions and bad decisions. The defensive backs' triumphant whoops rang out over the practice field.
Going against him will definitely make you better -- hands down. You guys know it. Everybody knows it," said Chung. "We just have to keep stringing good practices along. Just keep stringing them along and keep getting better. Brady is going to make us better. Our offense will make us better.
This season Chung is in a position to evolve his leadership role. His four years in New England's system are one of the longest tenures in the Patriots secondary.
No, that's not a lot of time. But there are seven brand new backs -- from Tavon Wilson to 12-year NFL veteran Will Allen -- who could use guidance in a different defense.Wilson said Chung has so far given great support. Help is coming from all angles, in fact.I feel like all of them have pretty much helped me out a lot with adjusting out here," he said. "Theyve just been giving me a lot of tips about how to go about my day and how to adjust to this new lifestyle. You know Ive just been taking it all in and being a sponge to those guys. Im just very grateful for those guys helping me out.Propping each other up has never been a problem. But whether they want to hear it or not, New England's secondary hasn't been able to translate their positive thinking into a potent defensive weapon.
Not yet.

Jerod Mayo: 'Cyrus Jones will probably be most improved this year'

Jerod Mayo: 'Cyrus Jones will probably be most improved this year'

Jerod Mayo still has faith in New England Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones.

The cornerback, who was the Patriots' top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, struggled mightily in his rookie season. He fumbled his way out of a role on special teams, where he served as a returner.

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He then failed to perform at nickel cornerback, and the Patriots traded for Eric Rowe, who pushed Jones down the depth chart and often onto the inactives on game day. Jones' emotional outburst during Week 5 when he got ejected for punching Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins didn't help.

Despite all that, Mayo thinks Jones will turn things around.

"I think Cyrus Jones will probably be most improved this year," Mayo said in the latest edition of "The Ex Pats" podcast. "I want people to remember a rookie [Matthew] Slater. A rookie Matt Slater was terrible. He would sit here on this podcast and tell you he's terrible, and I think Cyrus Jones is more athletic than Matthew Slater. I think -- I know for a fact, because I've seen it time and time again, the biggest leap not only in athleticsm but also in confidence is from year one to year two."

Jones admitted to the Baltimore Sun that his rookie was "hell." He added he felt "embarrassed." The 23-year-old cornerback said he didn't feel like he was a part of New England's Super Bowl LI win.

“Failure is another opportunity to begin again more intelligently,” Jones wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post.

Mayo seems to think Jones has learned his lesson, and will rebound with the help of Bill Belichick. And the Patriots may need Butler to be the most-improved player. Malcolm Butler's future with New England has become uncertain, and the remaining top cornerbacks are over 6-feet.

The Patriots need a slot corner. Jones is the next man up.

"As much as the media has kind of battered this young kid, Bill's going to boost him up this entire offseason," Mayo said. "Bill -- he's the best at putting lowlights up after a game . . . But during the offseason, he kind of -- it's individualized coach. He knows this guy's confidence is in the toilet. He's going to boost him up as much as possible.

"You know [Jones] can play football. He played in the SEC. He played on the top team on the country, and was a standout performer. So this is a confidence issue. This entire thing is a confidence issue, and I think they fix that."

Report: Patriots asked Seahawks about a trade for Richard Sherman

Report: Patriots asked Seahawks about a trade for Richard Sherman

PHOENIX -- The Patriots pulled off what many considered a surprise free-agent signing when they acquired corner Stephon Gilmore. As it turns out, before they picked up the former Bills cover man, they inquried about a separate move that would have been even more eye-opening. 

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, ahead of coming to a deal with Gilmore, the Patriots were among the teams that spoke to the Seahawks about a potential trade for Richard Sherman.

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During the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday morning at the Arizona Biltmore, Seattle coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that multiple teams have contacted the Seahawks about Sherman. But, Carroll said, "I don't see anything happening at all."

Sherman, who turns 29 next season, will make $11.431 million for 2017. He's due $11 million in the final year of his contract in 2018.