Chandler Jones

Chase Winovich's rookie year performance puts him on an exclusive list

Chase Winovich's rookie year performance puts him on an exclusive list

Over the course of the years, Bill Belichick has found many quality players in the NFL Draft. And in particular, he has been good at finding productive pass rushers.

Belichick has found his share of first-round pass-rushing talents including Chandler Jones, Richard Seymour, Dont'a Hightower, and Ty Warren. But he has also unearthed the likes of Jarvis Green, Tully Banta-Cain, and Trey Flowers in the middle rounds of the draft.

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It seems like Belichick has found his latest gem in 2019 third-round pick Chase Winovich. The Michigan product had a strong rookie season in which he recorded 5.5 sacks for the Patriots. That number may not seem huge, but few Patriots rookies have been able to generate that type of pressure during the Belichick era.

According to "Boston Sports Info" (@BostonSportsInf), Winovich is one of just two rookies to post at least 5.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hits as a rookie with the Patriots under Belichick. The other to accomplish that feat? Chandler Jones.

That's some pretty good company for Winovich to be keeping. Jones has long been one of the NFL's better pass rushers and has totaled 96 sacks during his eight-year NFL career. Last year, he logged 19 sacks and a league-leading eight forced fumbles for the Arizona Cardinals.

As much as the Patriots would probably love to see Winovich put up those types of numbers in future seasons, their focus should be on coaching him up heading into his second year. And if they give him a bigger role than he had last year -- Winovich played fewer than 30 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 2019 -- his numbers and overall impact on the game should increase.

We'll soon see what Winovich has in store for the upcoming season. And we'll see if the Patriots look to add to their arsenal of weapons on the defensive line during the 2020 NFL Draft. They could use another good pass rusher to pair with Winovich long-term, so perhaps they'll consider spending one of their 12 picks on a player at that position.

Chandler Jones sneaks up on ex-Patriots teammate Jimmy Garoppolo in funny video

Chandler Jones sneaks up on ex-Patriots teammate Jimmy Garoppolo in funny video

If Chandler Jones sacks Jimmy Garoppolo during their Week 9 matchup, it wouldn't be the first time he's snuck up on his former Patriots teammate.

Jones posted a funny video of himself sneaking behind Garoppolo at a grocery store pretending to be a fan asking for a picture, with the caption, "I got a history of sneakin’ up on @49ers QBs."

Check it out below:

Jones and Garoppolo were teammates in New England for two years before Jones was traded to Arizona in 2016. Garoppolo was traded from the Patriots to the 49ers the following season.

The Cardinals (3-4-1) and 49ers (7-0) will face off Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.

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Chandler Jones motivated by trade from Patriots: 'I never want to be traded again'

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File photo

Chandler Jones motivated by trade from Patriots: 'I never want to be traded again'

Chandler Jones has settled in as a member of the Cardinals, but he isn't getting too comfortable.

The former Patriot knows the nature of the business in the NFL and that he can be traded any given moment. Jones found that out the hard way when he was traded from New England to Arizona back in 2016, and he still uses that trade as motivation three years later.

“I feel like at any time I can be traded,” Jones said, via Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com. “It might sound bizarre to say, but I’m someone who has been in that situation. I’ve been traded before and that little sense of rejection is a crappy feeling, honestly. That’s what drives me. That’s what motivates me. I never want to get traded again.”

Jones shifted from defensive end to linebacker after joining the Cardinals, and he continues to produce at a high level. The 29-year-old has racked up double-digit sacks in each of his three seasons with Arizona (11 in 2016, 17 in 2017, 13 in 2018).

But it appears Jones may have learned a valuable lesson from his time under Pats head coach Bill Belichick: it isn't all about stats.

“It’s not about getting double-digit sacks,” Jones told Odegard. “The big thing is just being consistent. Speaking from a coach’s perspective, you want a player that’s consistent. You want a player that you know what you’re going to get day in and day out, on and off the field. A lot of that gives credit to some of my numbers, and hopefully I can stay consistent.”

Jones signed a five-year, $82.5 million extension in 2017, so using his trade from the Patriots as fuel certainly seems to have paid off.

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