Jonathan Jones on virtual meetings and what he’s learned from Bill Belichick

"It's definitely been a change up."

Patriots corner Jonathan Jones discussed how the Patriots are approaching virtual training. Billie Weiss/Getty Images

With the NFL planning on continuing the 2020 season as scheduled, players and teams are grappling with changes to their preseason training due to COVID-19. Team training facilities are closed for the next two weeks, with the exception of players doing rehabilitation. Seeing as Massachusetts has one of the highest case counts of the virus, the Patriots might even have to consider a facility out-of-state to host training camp.

Veteran Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones offered details on how he and his teammates are adjusting to virtual meetings and keeping up with their training schedules from their homes, rather than at Gillette Stadium.


“I had to assemble my own gym, that was fun,” Jones said during a video chat with reporters on Tuesday.” I had to get it together and get everything in. The coaches have a workout that they send us.”

The NFL is also preparing for the upcoming season, including the possibility of playing without fans. Jones said that would be something the team would have to adjust to if it comes into fruition.

“It definitely will be a little bit different, I think that’s a bridge we’ll have to cross when we get there,” Jones said of the potential change. “It would be different, but it’s possible – certain teams, like NASCAR has started the trend with it now, it’s definitely possible and it would be something we’d have to adapt to.”

With all the changes happening, Jones said it’s been nice to reconnect with his teammates and coaches– even if it’s virtually.

“It’s been fun,” Jones said. “It’s definitely been a change up, the culture that we have to get camaraderie as a group. The rookies just joined in with us, so just having that camaraderie of getting everyone to talk, spend time with each other. It’s a little different, but as with everything, you learn to adapt. It’s been fun to get back with the guys, have the jokes going back and forth across the meetings, as well as getting to talking ball at an elite level with the coaches and everyone.


“Getting to finally be around each other, it brings out that side of football where, we’re not there in the facility to interact with each other, but the virtual meetings has been just that.”

Jones feels like the virtual meetings have helped the team build get on the same page mentally.

“Even for the veteran guys — hearing that terminology over and over again, and starting from scratch,” said Jones. “That’s something we try to do every year. We don’t assume that anyone knows anything, so we start on the playbook from page one.”

Having suited up for the Patriots his entire career,  Jones said he wants to take on a leadership role this season, and has learned how to do so from veterans such as Devin McCourty:

“I’ve been able to learn a lot,” he added. “I could speak on the mentorship from Devin and the older guys. It’s impacted my career so much because they’re willing to help he younger guys and just that transition, year after year. Coming into a place like New England, it’s not easy to play for, having those veterans who have done it and done it at an elite level, is just an easy [set] of footsteps to follow.”


Individually, his main goal is to improve this season and establish himself as a solid defensive force who can snag interceptions and make plays.

“That’s a big personal goal of mine this year is to help contribute to the team as far as more turnovers.”

The Patriots have arguably the toughest schedule in the NFL this season — but Jones said he isn’t too fazed by the matchups. He’s focused on the now, an approach he learned from Bill Belichick.

“I’m conditioned by Bill [Belichick],” he said with a laugh. “Going on five years I’m conditioned to know every year is a new year, every team is a new team, everyone has changes. [Opponents’] win percentages from last year didn’t matter..[We are] taking one day at a time, and the first thing you have to do is get in training camp and figure out who we are as a team.

“Teams evolve as the season goes on. We have to figure out who we are first, and the other teams really don’t matter at this point.”



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