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Chandler Jones had an All-Pro season 5 months 2 weeks ago #123114

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GLENDALE , Ariz. (AP) — leading the NFL in tackles with an Arizona Cardinals franchise-record 17.Now he’s a defensive end, a position that could mean even more trouble for opposing quarterbacks. His only duties: set the edge to stop the run or get to the quarterback, something Jones does with a vengeance.There’s a viral video of Jones wreaking severe damage on a blocking sled earlier in camp.“Just too powerful” he explained.But there’s more than power to the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jones’ game.“The guy has great length, good speed off the ball,” Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “He has that sliver technique to be able to get around the edge of the tackles, and he’s physical. He can turn that speed into power and create some momentum getting back to the quarterback. He has it all, and hopefully we can continue to build on what he had last year.”Jones came to the Cardinals from New England in March of 2016 in a trade that sent a second-round draft pick and guard Jonathan Cooper to the Patriots. Because the Cardinals played a 3-4 defense under coach Bruce Arians, Jones had to learn to drop back in pass coverage as well as rush the passer and try to stop the run.He handled the transition well.Jones had 11 sacks and four forced fumbles in 2016 and, in March of last year, signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract that offseason, with $53 million guaranteed.In the 2017 season, Jones lived up to those big numbers. Not only did he lead the league in sacks but also in tackles for loss with 28, well ahead of the second-best performance, 21 by Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney.“I feel like if you want to be labeled an elite defensive end, you can’t be just a pass rusher,” Jones said. “You have to be good on all cylinders and definitely setting the edge and defeating the run is one of them. That’s one thing I tried to take pride in last season and hopefully I can carry that forward to this season.”Now 28 and entering his seventh NFL season T.J. Hockenson Jersey , Jones wants more.His goal, he said, is to do “better than I did last year.”“There’s never a perfect season,” Jones said. “I can sit here and tell you a handful of plays that I left out there last season and hopefully I can capitalize this year.”With Arians’ retirement and the arrival of Wilks, Jones is moving back to the 4-3 defense that he played with the Patriots. It means going back to a three-point stance instead of standing up as an outside linebacker.“It’s not that hard,” he said. “You just have different terminology. You attack offenses different, but it’s not that big of a difference honestly.”Wilks agrees.“He hasn’t had a problem with that at all,” he said. “You go look back at some of the things he’s done in the past. He’s put his hand on the ground before.”Jones likes the new defense.“I feel like guys are flying around a lot more,” he said. “There’s less thinking. There’s one-gap assignments and everyone is flying to the ball.”Jones will get some edge-rushing help from the return of Markus Golden, who had a team-high 12 1/2 sacks in 2016 but played in just four games a year ago before a season-ending knee injury. Golden is on the physically unable to perform list but could be back before the season begins.“Markus is a vocal leader,” Jones said. “He’s a guy that you can feel his presence out there but not by just his game play. I’m excited to have him back he’s a ‘hoorah’ guy and a hell of a player on top of that.”Meanwhile, Jones and left tackle D.J. Humphries have had some spirited battles already in training camp as Wilks encouraged physical play. Humphries is lucky to have the practice, Jones said.“I told D.J. yesterday, ‘You know what? You’ll never go against someone in a game that’s like me’ and I say that proudly because there’s not a lot of guys that do the moves that I do. I told D.J., ‘If you can stop me on a consistent basis, you’ll be fine.'”Notes: Wilks said LB an MRI on LB Deone Bucannon’s knee showed no structural damage and the player’s availability in training camp would be evaluated “day to day.” Bucannon banged his knee against WR Brice Butler’s helmet on Thursday. … Several thousand people attended the team’s “Red and White Practice” on Saturday. Yes, the Los Angeles Rams got away with a flagrant foul (or two) by cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman that allowed them to sneak out of New Orleans with the NFC championship, right past the highway sign on the causeway over Lake Pontchartrain reading, “WE WERE ROBBED .”Yes Justice Hill Jersey , the Patriots won in Kansas City thanks to four critical calls going New England’s way in the fourth quarter, three of which were iffy: a replay reversal of Julian Edelman’s muffed punt , a phantom roughing-the-passer call on Chris Jones and Chris Hogan’s drive-sustaining one-handed catch with a little help from the ground.The fourth flag was indisputable: Dee Ford lined up in the neutral zone, negating rookie cornerback Charvarius Ward’s game-clinching interception with 55 seconds left and Kansas City ahead 28-24.“I thought the game was over,” Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen said. “And it wasn’t.”Just like the Saints did when Tommylee Lewis blatantly was interfered with inside the Los Angeles 5-yard line by Robey-Coleman, whose helmet-to-helmet hit didn’t draw the flag but will surely result in a hefty fine.“I thought it was a flag for that split second,” acknowledged Robey-Coleman, who was as surprised as everyone else when two officials near the play ruled it an incomplete pass on third down with 1:45 remaining in regulation and the game tied at 20.“I knew if that had been a flag, they probably would have scored on the next play,” Robey-Coleman said.The call kept the Rams close as New Orleans settled for a field goal on the next play, Greg Zuerlein tied it in regulation with a 48-yarder and won it in overtime with a 57-yarder , two field goals that likely never would have happened had Robey-Coleman been flagged for clobbering Lewis well before the ball arrived.On Monday, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas implored NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to undo the outcome of the game , citing an NFL rule that allows for “the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary occurred.”The league has never invoked the rule to reverse a game’s outcome.The George Halas and Lamar Hunt Trophies may be smudged amid the backlash over the officiating gaffes, but they aren’t entirely tarnished because strategy and execution had as much to do with the outcomes of these overtime thrillers as the yellow flags that were or weren’t thrown.The Rams (15-3) roared back from a pair of double-digit deficits to beat the Saints 26-23 in overtime because they stuck with the plan and didn’t panic after falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter and 20-10 in the third quarter.After managing just 5 yards in the first quarter when nothing went right, the Rams righted themselves thanks to a fake punt and cut New Orleans’ lead to 13-10 at halftime.“Our team demonstrated great mental toughness,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “It was a tough start, but I thought the way (quarterback Jared Goff) played and handled the noise was outstanding.”The Rams outscored the Saints 16-3 down the stretch.The Patriots (13-5) overcame a 24-point fourth-quarter outburst fueled by Patrick Mahomes to beat the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime because Tom Brady was hardly touched , aside from Jones’ shoulder swipe that the officials thought hit him in the facemask.New England’s much-maligned offensive line didn’t allow a single sack to the Chiefs, whose 52 sacks during the regular season were tied with the Steelers for the league lead and who pummeled Andrew Luck a week earlier, sacking him three times.Brady “played great,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said for what, the 1,000th time? “They were playing a lot of man coverage and it was either a good gain or an incompletion. … They gave us some three-man rush and there was a lot of four-man rush with Justin Houston, Chris Jones and Dee Ford. Those are tough matchups. I thought they did a good job of standing up to those guys and giving Tom a chance to deliver the ball.”In overtime, Brady, who has thrown 90 passes in the playoffs and has not been sacked a single time, converted a trio of third-and-10 pass plays on the winning touchdown drive.“Brady got rid of the ball fast,” Jones said. “We didn’t get to the quarterback like we usually do.”So the Patriots rushed for 176 yards and Brady threw for 348.By dominating the time of possession — 44 minutes to 21 minutes — Brady and the Patriots kept Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill on the sideline during most of the freezing night.“You play on the road, it is going to be tough,” Brady said. “What travels well is running the ball and playing tough. That is good in any weather, any condition, any environment and any stadium.”
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