Patriots rookie defensive end Chandler Jones was among the most impressive players on the field in any of Thursday night’s six preseason games, showing off a very quick first step and making his presence felt repeatedly in the Saints’ backfield.
Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who drew the assignment of blocking Jones, said afterward that he was impressed.
“I think he’s going to be a good player in this league. It was a battle out there,” Bushrod said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I think he has a bright future ahead of him. . . . He definitely looks the part, a good physical specimen.”
Bushrod was called for holding Jones on back-to-back plays, but he said afterward that he didn’t agree with the penalties. Everyone agrees, however, that Jones looked good: He was on the field for 14 Saints passing plays, and on five of those 14 he pressured the passer.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick changed the subject when asked about Jones, obviously not wanting to gush about his first-round draft pick on the strength of a couple of quarters of work in an exhibition game. But if Jones keeps playing like he did on Thursday night, he’ll be the subject of a great deal of praise in New England this year.