FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Last offseason, defensive end Chandler Jones devoted significant time to improving his upper-body strength. This year, he's focusing on the lower half.
"I feel like if I can get my legs stronger, and get it equal with my upper body, I'll be more proportional and it will help me with my game a lot -- pass rush and run-stopping ability," Jones said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium during a break in the team's voluntary offseason program.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jones explained that he finds he's more successful when he devotes his attention to one area in offseason work. It doesn't mean he isn't working on all areas, but the idea of increasing the focus on one area works for him.
"I feel like when you try to focus on too many different things, you're not going anywhere," he said. "So last season was my upper body. This year, I'm focusing more on my lower body and it can definitely help with me and the whole sport of football -- change of direction, my bull rush, whatever it is.
“Without your legs, you're not anything ... Stronger legs definitely generates more power and more speed."
A few more soundbites from Jones, who enters his third season with the team:
Spending time with Easley. Jones said he had just spent some time speaking with first-round draft choice Dominique Easley prior to the media interview. “He looks good. He looks like a great player. I’ve been watching his highlights; he was getting a lot of penetration, and that’s definitely key on the defensive line. I’m excited for him to be part of the New England Patriots and make some big plays.”
Impressions of Smith. Jones and Rob Ninkovich are entrenched as starters at defensive end, with veteran Will Smith brought aboard this offseason. “He’s a great player. I’m a big fan,” Jones said, adding that he has some mutual friends with Smith from Utica, New York. “Being a defensive end, I feel like the thing you look at is pass-rush ability. That’s what you get paid for. That’s one thing I like about him -- he’s a great pass-rusher.” Jones is impressed with Smith’s "finesse" moves and how he changes things up.
No thanks on AFC title game. Asked if he’s studied the AFC title game loss to the Broncos, Jones said no. There was no further elaboration required.
Best man for his brother Arthur. Asked if there was anything exciting ahead on the personal front, Jones talked about being the best man for his brother Arthur, who will be getting married in June. "I don’t like getting suits," he cracked.