I don't read much here anymore. I don't watch much on tv. I do, however, listen to a LOT of radio.
A little history I need to reflect on:
-Almost everyone was elated when the Pats drafted Jones. He was pegged right about where they drafted him, maybe slightly later, maybe not.
-Pats, running counter to everything they've shown for a long time traded UP to get him. Granted it was a very minor move, but a rarity for the Pats. I think Wilfork in 04 was the last time before this.
-And finally, all reports, fans, EVEYONE noted one thing about Jones...he was 'very raw'.
He EXPLODED onto the scene last year, had an AMAZING first half of the season...then age and injuries really slowed him late last season. But for a rookie, great season. For a 'very raw rookie'? Phenomenal.
11.5 sacks - 5th in NFL
75 tackles - 3rd among AFC DLineman
I haven't heard a whole lot the pat week, but prior to that, I COULD NOT BELIEVE THE AMOUNT OF BTCHING! I kept hearing "he needs to step up...he needs some timely plays...he needs to have a bigger impact..."
Really? I mean...seriously?
When he was drafted in 2012, for me to think he'd have 11.5 sacks in 2013, and people would largely complain about his play....I couldn't think that. It's unimaginable.
Last year he had, almost literally, 0 pass rush moves. The fking kid is still learning how to play...and has ELEVEN AND A HALF SACKS!
Second on the team in sacks? Ninkovich, everyone's favorite, with 7. Those totaled 34 yards. Chandler's 11.5 total 74. Ninkovich does have 86 tackles to Jones' 75 though.
Furthermore...once Vince went down...where do you think those double teams slid to? Jones faces 2 people MOST of the time, and STILL gets solid pressure.
I don't understand 2 things:
1) The painful lack of patience people seem to have with this kid.
2) The almost total lack of appreciation for what he does.
Most fanbases would KILL to have a guy like him, but with most Pats fans it seems like "yeah, he's good...but he should be better."
Not even 2 years under the belt of a guy who was a very raw rookie and people want more.
And what do I base the thinking that most fans are under-satisfied? I laundry list of callers outlinging the things I just railed against, and people like Mike Reiss/Paul Perillo making comments over time agreeing with the 'wanting more' mentality. These are not Felger/Borges/Merloni type blowhards...those two (Reiss/Perillo) are guys I tend to respect when it comes to their opinions...
I guess I could be wrong, or maybe it's the minority making the majority of the noise...but I also see and hear very little praise going in Chandler's direction. He is the glue holding this very tattered defense together, and it seems like nobody knows, or cares.
As a side note/off topic...I'm constantly proud, and hurting my own shoulder reminding myself, for calling Matthew Slater, PRE-2011, the best gunner in football. The guy is a wizard, I truly enjoy watching that guy play. I never thought someone would surpass the mighty Larry Wigham and his long, flowing headband. And what's wrong with me that I remember so many special teamers...like Larry Izzo. (He did make the INT to secure the 31-0 revenge over Buffalo in the endzone...so many random football stats/facts, and I can't remember what I ate today!!!!!!)