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Teammates have noticed, handing out a nickname they believe suits Jones well: "That's our closer," linebacker Jerrod Mayo told Comcast SportsNet New England.

Comcast's Tom E. Curran has watched Jones develop in camp and believes he's "way farther along" than the Patriots expected. Jones will likely slide into Andre Carter's "elephant" role from last season and contribute to a defense that has played with more enthusiasm than last year's crew.

There's a hazard in becoming too enamored based off preseason reports. August's stars settle down or evaporate when September comes, but the excitement around Jones is based on his ability to heat-seek the passer, a talent most players either have or they don't.

Jermon Bushrod certainly had a lot of good things to say about Jones after being forced to try to handle him in both the joint practices and preseason game.

“I think he’s going to be a good player in this league. It was a battle out there,” said Bushrod. “I think he has a bright future ahead of him. He definitely looks the part, a good physical specimen.”

As for the Closer nickname, its cool that the team's given him a name but am I the only one that doesn't get it? Is this a Mariano Rivera reference?

Anyway, Jones has certainly brought himself a lot of hype after that preseason game. Though as the NFL.com article points out, it's only August. Let's not get too impressed yet until we're still seeing this in September or October.

Its surprising because out of the two first round picks - Hightower and Jones - Jones was seen as more of the project. And while all accounts on Hightower have been good, Jones is getting more of the spotlight now. The Patriots have really set themselves up for a lot of success with these two rookies. Is this finally what Bill Belichick has been builing for all these years with his stockpiling of draft picks?

Mike Saver 8/17/2012 09:24:00 AM Edit
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