Surely at least a few of you have some memories of Christmases past, when your parents decided that on Christmas Eve, awww, what the heck, you could go ahead and open JUST ONE present from the mountain of gifts under the tree, and it turns out that you pull that one out of the pile that's what you'd been wanting all year long?
This week's episode of LOLJETS was pretty much exactly that - against a team that, somehow, manages to play the New England Patriots down to the wire even when they're cruising for a top-10 draft pick almost all the time, this one was in the bag by halftime. The only real surprise was that the sun actually came out in the second half.
Given that all that was really missing was a Mortal Kombat "FLAWLESS VICTORY" over the PA at Gillette Stadium, it might have been easy to miss that Belichick and the gang decided to put a player in that, pretty recently, was whatever the opposite of the toast of the town is:
Yes, the same kid who was the Baltimore Ravens' most valuable player a few weeks ago. The kid who was one of the best returners in the country on the best college football team in the country, and somehow seemed to get so rattled that he turned into a healthy scratch just as recently as the Broncos game. The guy who's now a definitive fourth on the cornerback depth chart now that Eric Rowe seems to be back in action for good. That guy.
So, perhaps in the interests of "You gotta learn to drive WITH the fear!", Cyrus Jones got some reps after the game was already well past the "I don't want them to gain another yard" phase - and he got to field a punt and take some snaps on defense.
Sure, Jones only played 7 snaps on defense and returned that one punt, but he handled the kick cleanly and didn't get lit up on defense, so that's at least more than we could say for his last few performances.
And Cyrus, for one, appreciated the team giving him a chance to redeem himself. From WEEI:
"It was good, better than being on the bench."
Would have to agree.
"It was something I can build on, and just helping this team make a run. It's been a long year, but I'm still confident. Like I said, it was good to get back out there with the guys and I am going to try to keep building on this."
""I know everybody around here still has a lot of confidence in me," Jones said. "I am not the first rookie to have struggled and I didn’t forget how to play football overnight. Some of those things just happen sometimes and you just have to take it in stride and I feel like you build your character through adversity."
"It’s easy to have a positive outlook on things when everything is going great, but I think my character has been tested and I think I am bouncing back and trying to handle it well. Coming out to work everyday in practice and doing whatever I have to do to prevent those things from happening again in the future and make plays for the team."
Belichick has been supportive of Jones too, especially after that Ravens debacle, noting that even Pro Bowlers make mistakes sometimes.
What is there to lose with putting Cyrus back in when the game's already a bloodbath and it's pretty much the lowest-pressure situation possible?
Best case scenario, the coaching staff figures Jones is ready to rock and roll in the playoffs - cause god knows then, of all times, the last thing we all want to see is Julian Edelman or Patrick Chung getting their clock cleaned on a return.