The New England Patriots revealed that 2nd round cornerback Cyrus Jones will be donning the number 24 jersey, joining such legendary franchise figures as Ty Law and Darrelle Revis in an attempt to bring home yet another Super Bowl trophy.
"[They're] two of the greatest players that ever stepped foot in the National Football League," Jones said in his opening press conference. "And there's definitely a legacy behind the number, and I want to make my own legacy with the number."
And legacy will be important for both Jones and this 2016 NFL Draft class as the Patriots try to overcome the team's forfeited first round pick. If Jones can outplay his 60th overall draft ranking, then he'll go a long way towards solidifying his own image in Patriots lore.
Jones is ready to start on his path.
"It's just time to play football now, time to get ready to come out here and win games," Jones said. "It's no more running around in tights and running [40-yard dashes] and stuff like that. It's time to put back on the pads and get after it. I can't wait."
The Alabama graduate is going to compete for a starting role alongside incumbents Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, while contributing on special teams as a returnman. Jones is familiar with the Bill Belichick style of coaching after spending his college time under Nick Saban, a former Belichick defensive coordinator.
"Our program [at Alabama] is based a lot on what they do here," Jones said. "So I was expecting [the Patriots] to be a program based on discipline and principles similar to that, and just hard working, blue-collar type of atmosphere so I was excited for it."
Jones has an immediate role with the Patriots, and potential for increased playing time in 2017 if and when Ryan leaves in free agency. Until that time, Jones is going to get down to work and ensure that he's ready when the time comes.
"You've just got to come in, earn the respect of the veterans in the locker room, just do your job, and wait for your number to be called," Jones said.
And no one has to remind the rookie about the legacy of his uniform when the Patriots eventually call the number 24.