Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones played for the New England Patriots from 2012 to 2015. While with New England, he learned one specific lesson from head coach Bill Belichick.
During his time with the Patriots, Jones recorded 211 combined tackles and 36 sacks in four years of play. Jones was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015. He tallied 12.5 sacks that season.
Jones was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in March 2016 for guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round pick.
Jones joined Logan Ryan on an episode of the NFL Player’s Podcast earlier this week. He opened up about his time in New England, and recalled one specific thing he learned still resonates with him. Knowing personnel was important, and not just on the football field
“One thing I really admired about Coach Belichick is that I felt like he didn’t just care about the football player part of you. He made sure that you understood the importance of the people around you,” Jones said, as transcribed by Audacy. “And not just your teammates, but also the janitors. Bill, when we first got there, he would put pictures of these people up on a screen. And these would be the janitors, the people that worked in the cafeteria, the nutritionists, and he would ask the rookies and the new people around the facilities, ‘Who is this?’ He made sure the rookies knew who the janitor was, what was their name, where are they from.
“I think doing exercises like that, it goes a long way — I carry that to this day. That’s all I do, and that was instilled into me as a rookie, and even to this day I sit there and I talk to the janitor and I have a conversation just coming from that exercise, and I’m 10 years in. So I’m pretty sure there are a lot of different exercises that he did that kind of carried with me to this day to other teams and it kind of spreads throughout the organization.”
Since his arrival in Arizona, Jones has recorded 262 nine tackles and 71.5 sacks with the Cardinals. He has managed to flourish with the organization. In four seasons with the Cardinals, he has earned two First-Team All-Pro selections. He is coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2021 in which he tallied 10.5 sacks.
Currently, Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The Patriots have been identified as a potential fit for Jones. With New England looking to upgrade their defense Jones could be a fit due to his ability to rush the passer. Even if he doesn’t join the Patriots this offseason, he’ll always have that lesson from New England.