The 2020 New England Patriots schedule stands as the NFL’s strongest on paper.
But cornerback Jonathan Jones won’t look to the opposing .537 win rate from a campaign ago, or the meetings with reigning league and Super Bowl MVPs, or the potential noise of Arrowhead Stadium and CenturyLink Field, or the extended December stay in Los Angeles.
Jones, 26, has been around head coach Bill Belichick long enough.
“First of all, I’d say I guess I’m conditioned by Bill,” Jones joked during his video conference with the media on Tuesday. “I’ve been here for going on five years, so I’m conditioned to just know every year is a new year, every team is a new team. Everybody has changes, and their win percentages from last year kind of don’t matter. Teams will go 0-6 to start and then pick up better. So, I mean, just taking it one day at a time.”
Jones, who arrived in New England as an undrafted free agent in 2016, signed a three-year contract extension entering last regular season. The Auburn product has appeared in 63 games over that span and been a member of three teams that made it to February.
It remains a getting-to-know-you process as the spring turns to summer.
“I think the first thing we have to do is get in training camp and figure out who we are as a team,” Jones added. “That’s when it’s really going to start. And then, like I said, teams will evolve as the season goes on – as every year. But we have to figure out who we are first. The other teams really don’t matter at this point.”
Jones has held roles ranging from gunner to nickel to safety with New England. He’s gathered 167 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and four interceptions during his tenure.