Patriots CB Cyrus Jones on last season's struggles: 'That's done, in the past'

Patriots CB Cyrus Jones on last season's struggles: 'That's done, in the past'

FOXBORO - Cyrus Jones wasn’t good last year. No way to sugarcoat it. He didn’t get many opportunities as a slot corner and when he did, the results weren’t what you’re looking for from a second-round draft pick.

In fact, having Andrew Hawkins on the Patriots roster this spring may be an unfriendly reminder of Week 5 in Cleveland, when the then slot receiver for the Browns scorched Jones for a touchdown, creating some six or seven yards of separation.

But it went beyond that. One of the main reasons Jones was drafted was because of his acumen as a punt returner. He took four to the house in his final year at Alabama. But Jones scuffled in training camp and those scuffles carried over into the regular season. Jones fumbled an NFL-leading five times in the return game and got the rookie a seat on the pine. There he remained, not just as a returner, but on defense, passed by an undrafted player in Jonathan Jones. 

Naturally, those struggles were going to create a lot of attention on Cyrus Jones to start Year 2. After a spotty beginning of OTAs, the 5-10 speedster had two clean days of minicamp. Until today. The first punt he attempted to field clanged off his hands. His head dropped. Flashback to last season?

“I’m just focused on this year,” said Jones. “I ain’t really interested in talking about last year.”

Jones is an interesting kid. At times last year, he was open and honest about his struggles, owning them. Then there were times when he showed his immaturity, retweeting his critics and skipping out after the Ravens game, long before the media reached the Pats locker room. Self-inflicted wounds. 

“I mean you can pinpoint a lot of reasons for you know my struggles,” said Jones was asked if he put too much pressure on himself. “Like I said before, that’s done, in the past. I’m focused on this upcoming season.”

Pressed more about his performance and what needed to be improved this year, Jones appeared to get defensive, firmly saying “nothing” before catching himself ever so slightly.

“It’s a no-brainer. You watched last year,”  said Jones. “As far as proving something, I just want to come out and be a productive player for the team. I’m not going into every day saying I need to prove this, prove that. I’m just trying to come, work hard every day and get better.”
 

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is Rob Gronkowski good to go?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Is Rob Gronkowski good to go?

00:43 - Rob Gronkowski says he's ready to go against the Texans. Michael Holley, Tom Giles and Kayce Smith talk about this risks of him playing while injured.

05:47 - Phil A.Perry follows up the Gronk discussion with a deeper breakdown of Gronk’s decision to play this Sunday.

10:02 - David Price appears to be easing back into baseball after pitching Friday night. Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Price’s outing in Cincinnati. 

16:12 - The BST crew recaps the Red Sox win over Reds. Drellich returns to analyze how the pitchers performed and how that will impact the Red Sox postseason stretch.  

Danny Amendola embraces delayed follow-up to strong Week 1 performance

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Danny Amendola embraces delayed follow-up to strong Week 1 performance

This actually won’t be the first time that Danny Amendola had to wait to follow up a strong season-opener with the Pats. 

As the veteran receiver aims to return Sunday from a concussion and knee injury after leaving the Pats’ Week 1 loss early and missing Week 2 altogether, he’ll try to build a Week 1 performance that saw him lead the Pats with 100 yards on six receptions. 

The stop and start is somewhat reminiscent of Amendola’s first year with New England in 2013, when he had 10 receptions for 104 yards in the season-opener. He suffered a groin injury in that game, however, and didn’t play again until Week 5. At least the wait is shorter this time around. 

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“I mean, there’s going to be bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s football, right?” Amendola said Friday. “But I feel really good today, feel strong, so get ready tomorrow and just continue to prepare.”

In that first game back in 2013, Amendola again led the Pats in receiving yards, but it was in a terrible offensive showing for New England. All it took was four receptions for 55 yards to be the Patriots’ best receiver in a 13-6 loss to Cincinnati in which Tom Brady had a rare scoreless game. 

If Amendola can pick up where he left off in Week 1, the Pats will be in good shape. They’re also expected to have Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan ready to go, but Amendola was Tom Brady’s most reliable weapon in the Chiefs game, even though Brandin Cooks made a bigger impact with two pass interference penalties drawn in the red zone. 

Not known for his durability towards the end of his time in St. Louis, this will be the fourth of Amendola’s five regular seasons in New England in which he didn’t play in all 16 games. He played the full season in 2014, 14 games in 2015 and 12 games in 2013 and 2016. 

With Julian Edelman out, Brady could certainly use Amendola’s services as often as possible. That’s especially if he plays the way he did in Week 1. 

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