Rookie DE Jones taking it all in stride

January, 11, 2013
1/11/13
2:25
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones is preparing for a tough one-on-one matchup against Texans left tackle Duane Brown, but before he gets to that point, he had to handle some playful heckling from one of his own on Friday.

Jones was starting an interview at his locker, which is next to the doors that players pass through to get to the weight room, when light-hearted tight end Rob Gronkowski joined the scrum to play the role of reporter.

“Chandler, you’ve got to work out. You’re weak!” Gronkowski said before exiting to the weight room.

A smiling Jones took it in stride, which is also how he’s preparing for Sunday’s playoff game.

“It’s not a huge difference,” Jones said, when asked if he’s noticed anything out of the norm in meetings and practices this week. “There is a sense of urgency, just because of the time of year we’re playing, but you approach every game the same exact way.”

Still, as a fan of the NFL, Jones knows the playoffs represent a new level of attention.

“Everyone is watching,” he said. “It’s the top teams left to get to what every coach’s dream is, to win the Super Bowl. Every game is prime-time.

“… It’s crunch time. Mistakes are going to have to be eliminated. If you lose you go home.”

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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