Patriots trust in Jonathan Jones to cover Jarvis Landry speaks volumes


Patriots trust in Jonathan Jones to cover Jarvis Landry speaks volumes

FOXBORO -- To get a feel for just exactly how Bill Belichick feels about a player, there are a couple of ways to go about it.

Asking him about said player in a press conference setting will provide a response. But watching how Belichick is willing to deploy that player in a game situation is probably the most accurate window into his brain.

Judging by how the Patriots used Jonathan Jones two weeks ago against the Dolphins, when Jones shadowed Jarvis Landry for the majority of the afternoon, Belichick and the Patriots are very high on their second-year corner.


"He's played quite a bit of football for us," Belichick said on Wednesday. "And I'd say quite a bit of good football for us. We have a lot of confidence in Jon. Jon's made a lot of plays for us. Plays in the kicking game. He's a tough kid. He's out there every day. And he plays in tough spots. Penetrator on the kickoff team. Gunner on the punt team. He's right in the middle of the action. 

"I think his toughness, competitiveness and his ability to cover . . . we have a lot of confidence in him. He always supports that confidence with very competitive performance. He plays hard, tough kid."

The evidence of the trust Jones has garnered has been there for much of the season. He saw significant action in Week 2 against the Saints, coming away with two pass breakups on seven targets in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, he's allowed a passer rating of 69.0 this season, which is the 19th-lowest in the NFL for qualifying corners, just a shade behind Cardinals star Patrick Peterson (68.9). 

By following Landry around at Gillette Stadium late last month, the Patriots dubbed Jones one of their most dependable defensive backs. Belichick reveres Landry. Has for a long time, and his respect for Landry's skill set was broadcast on NFL Films' "Turning Point" just last week. 

"It's obviously a Landry game," Belichick told CBS sideline reporter Evan Washburn on the sidelines prior to kickoff. "We gotta do a good on on him. Not get it thrown over our head."

In two games against the Pats in 2016, Landry had 19 catches for 211 and a score. The 5-foot-11, 208-pounder's unique skill set was on full display in Miami when he lowered his shoulder into 265-pound linebacker Dont'a Hightower and plowed into the end zone.

"Very dangerous," Belichick said Wednesday when asked about Landry. "Hard guy to tackle. Super competitive player. Strong. Has good balance. Good quickness. Can make people miss but he's a very hard guy to tackle. He breaks a lot of tackles. Probably as many as any receiver in the league. He's targeted probably more than any receiver in the league. He gets the ball a lot, and he's really hard to tackle. Makes a lot of yards after the catch on his own. Both tackling, actually wrapping up and tackling is an issue, but also leverage because he has good vision, he can cut back against the grain, make people miss in the open field."

Because the Dolphins have depth at receiver -- plus a receiving tight end in Julius Thomas who could be considered another wideout in certain situations -- Belichick explained that "this is a big week for [Patriots] corners." 

They'll often have three on the field to check Miami's 11-personnel, and even with Eric Rowe back in the mix after a long absence due to a groin injury, Jones will likely be one of them.

Given all he's done this season and how he performed the last time the Patriots and Dolphins met -- holding Landry to 46 yards on five catches and six targets -- it would come as little surprise if he was trusted yet again to square off against Miami's best. 


David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

File Photo

David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

David Harris's 11-year run in the NFL has come to an end. 

On Friday, the linebacker announced his retirement from the game of football after spending 10 seasons with the Jets and one with the Patriots. 

The Jets drafted Harris with the 47th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he racked up 5 sacks and 127 total tackles. His breakout rookie season was an clear indication of the solid player he would become over the course of his career. 

Although he neither won a Super Bowl, nor made it to a Pro Bowl, the linebacker served as a focal point on a Rex Ryan defense that appeared in two AFC Championships in 2010 and 2011. 

When he was released in 2017, the 34-year-old made a career choice to sign with the Patriots to compete for a Super Bowl.

He didn't go out a champion, but a trip to the Super Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one of the most underrated linebackers of the past decade. 



What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

AP Photo

What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

Admittedly, the audio is poor but the idea is no less intriguing.

Was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving at NBA All-Star Weekend that he's trying to go to the Patriots? Or to Boston? Or New England? 

It's 23 seconds into the video below: 

Isaiah Houde of USA TODAY's PatriotsWire interprets it as: "You went to the Celtics and I’m trying to go to New England."

Beckham has had a few Instagram posts about Brady recently, including an exchange of rap lyrics back in December. 


A post shared by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on

Unless there's a trade between the Patriots and Giants, Beckham, 25, the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, won't be free to join Kyrie in New England - or was it Boston? - until the four-year deal he signed in 2014 ends after this season. Oh, and as he enters that 2019 season, Tom Brady will be 42.