Patriots

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.”
 

Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

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Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

Julian Edelman is grinding.

The New England Patriots receiver, who is recovering from an ACL repair surgery that ended his 2017 season, shared a quick video from his workout on Tuesday. Edelman is shown running with a resistance band and a trainer in-tow.

Edelman has posted a few tidbits on social media to show encouraging signs during his recovery since he got surgery in October after suffering an ACL tear in a preseason game. He was spotted around the locker room a few times during the final weeks of the 2017 season.

"Rehab is a [expletive]. It sucks," Edelman said in November on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take podcast." "You go in and you’re feeling decent and then you warm up, you beat it up and then you get stiff again. I mean it’s just a process and you go in six days a week and you’re going into work it, work on everything — your flexion, your extension."

Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

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Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

Steelers tight end Jesse James is glad the Patriots' Super Bowl pursuit is done -- mostly because he played a big part in helping accelerate it.

In the final moments of the game, James failed to catch the ball during a Week 15 contest between the Steelers and the Patriots. The non-catch was a controversial one.

James told Centre Daily Times' Josh Moyer he finally felt relief on the morning after the Super Bowl when the Patriots fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“I don’t feel like I gave them a Super Bowl with that,” James told the Daily Times. “So I’m over it now, but it’s going to be a topic of conversation until the rule gets changed — or it doesn’t.”

James' play was initially ruled a touchdown before the referees overturned the play, and took the lead away from the Steelers in the final moments of the game. Ben Roethlisberger then threw an interception a few plays later. By winning, the Patriots took a huge step in locking themselves into the AFC's top seed with a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which they rode into the Super Bowl.

But of course, they couldn't finish their Super Bowl pursuit -- to James' satisfaction.