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November 30, 2023

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Former Falcon Chris Jones discusses his time in the NFL and how his time at the New England Patriots has been

Steven W. Echard

Former Falcon Chris Jones when he payed for the BGSU football team.

While the BG football team was building its season to win the 2013 Mid-American Conference, former BG defensive lineman Chris Jones was working diligently to build his career in the National Football League.

Jones built a strong resume during his time at BG, amounting 157 tackles, 46 of which were for a loss and 28 sacks. Of his 28 sacks, 12.5 of those came during his senior year in 2012, in which he led the Falcons to the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., marking the first bowl game for BG since 2009.

In 2012, Jones was named the MAC defensive player of the year and to the All-MAC team for the third-consecutive season.

His draft stock rose when he led the nation in sacks for multiple weeks and finished No. 9 in the country and two sacks behind the national leader, the University of Georgia’s linebacker, Jarvis Jones, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round.

NFL scouts had good things to say about Jones following his tryout at the NFL combine, but there were some doubts concerning the competition he faced in the MAC.

Despite the questions, Jones was selected 198th overall in the sixth round by the Houston Texans.

Jones spent the entire offseason with the Texans, but was released at the end of the preseason.

The following day, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Jones up but didn’t play in the team’s season opener against the New York Jets on Sep. 8. He was released by the Buccaneers and claimed off waivers by the Patriots.

After joining and being released by two teams, Jones found a spot on the New England Patriots defensive line.

Jones played in his first NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 29 and made his first tackle as a professional football player.

“I went out to stretch, I looked at it all and just took it all in,” Jones said. “You dream of it as a little kid, especially after going through college, and then it finally came true at that point.

The following week, the Patriots traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. Jones made two tackles including sacking Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton 1.5 times.

With the help of a good outing in Cincinnati and injuries to other players, Jones filled a starting spot on the defensive line on Oct. 13 against the New Orleans Saints. He has started on the defensive line every game since the Saints game.

“I got kind of worried after bouncing around and things might not work out,” Jones said. “I just kept my head down and kept rolling, and eventually, two games later, I was starting.”

Jones has been one of the most dominant defensive rookies in the NFL this season. He currently is tied for No. 2 in the NFL for sacks by a rookie this season with five. He shares the spot with the Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Barkevious Mingo and they trail the Detroit Lions’ Ezekiel Ansah, who has seven on the season.

Jones has improved his game since getting into the NFL this season and he said the biggest difference is the preparation.

“There’s a lot more that goes into the physicalness and preparation in the NFL,” Jones said. “Everybody here is top notch. Nobody really makes a mistake is what I tell everybody. You got to make sure you’re mentally prepared not to make a mistake and physically prepared to be able to push people around.”

He added that he prepares himself mentally by studying the other team through hours of film and he takes better care of his body after workouts and practice to allow him to recover quicker for each game and practice. He said that he uses a leg compressor machine and gets massages three to four times a week to help keep his body recover for each game and practice.

Jones has been fortunate to find a spot on arguably one of the most successful professional sports organizations in the past decade, who is led by one of the football’s most known coach, Bill Belichick.

“Coach Belichick has developed a great system here,” Jones said. “Ever since I was a little kid [I’ve been] watching him coach. Something people don’t really get to see is that he is very engaging at coaching. He is a great individual coach as well.”

Jones compared Belichick and former BG head coach Dave Clawson.

“Coach Clawson tries to help every one out,” Jones said. “I think coach Belichek [is the same] in that way.”

Despite the distance, Jones has followed the BG football team this season and is proud of its success.

“I’m glad for everyone there,” Jones said. “I’m very proud of BG as a whole.”

Jones said the best thing about playing in the NFL is the fact that he was given the opportunity to do so.

“I made it to the highest level there is in football,” Jones said. “There’s times I look back over my life and see where God has brought me, and I realize that I am very blessed to be where I’m at.”

Following their 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday, Chris Jones and the 10-4 New England Patriots continue to look to clinch a divisional title and playoff birth this Sunday when they take on the Baltimore Ravens.

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