Chandler Jones lives the dream

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
5:33
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Players often say the NFL is a business, but watching first-round draft choice Chandler Jones in training camp, it sure doesn't seem that way to him.

The 22-year-old carries himself with the exuberance of a youngster, often smiling, and clearly enjoying what he’s doing even though he acknowledges it’s more serious than his college career.

[+] EnlargeChandler Jones
Mike RodakChandler Jones' approach to training camp? "I'm trying to earn the respect from the veterans," he says.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Jones confirmed Monday after the team’s 14th practice of camp. “It’s a dream come true. Every kid would love to be a professional athlete. For me to live my dream and come out here every day and do what I love, I’m enjoying it.”

Opposing offensive tackles, on the other hand, not so much. Just ask Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who had a tough time with Jones in the preseason opener.

The quick development of the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Jones has been one of the positive storylines of Patriots camp. Those wondering how it’s affected Jones’ mindset, consider some of these answers to questions posed to him Monday.

On if it is tough to fight through the dog days of camp: “Camp is camp. There is no way of getting around camp. You have to put your nose to the grindstone and go through it. You treat every day like it’s game day and you come out and do your job. Like I said in every interview, I’m trying to earn the respect from the veterans.”

On comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul: “Jason Pierre-Paul is a great player, and I’m a different player from him. I’m not going to sit here and compare us two. But he’s a great player and I respect his game. I have no comment on the comparison.”

On his preseason debut: "I’m glad we got it out of the way and we’re just getting ready for Philadelphia."

On his speed: “I come out and work my craft and work on my moves, and if it’s speed or if it’s power, I take what the offensive line gives me.”

On always staying alive in a play: “For a great football player, you have to have a high motor. It means you’re never giving up until that whistle is blown. That’s the kind of mentality I try to approach. If the whistle hasn’t blown yet, I’m still going after the ball.”

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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