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Chandler Jones Interview Transcript - 7/26/2012

Posted Jul 26, 2012

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones addresses the media following Training Camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, July 26, 2012.

Q: How did your first real practice as an NFL player feel?

CJ: It felt great. I feel like I’m still dreaming, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Q: How prepared do you think you were for your first day?

CJ: From rookie mini-camp and OTAs, I feel like I was really prepared. Everything was smooth as far as getting assignments down and getting instructions from the vets. I’m excited to see how it goes tomorrow.

Q: What sort of veterans are giving you advice at this point?

CJ: Every vet. We have a nice brother system from Tom Brady to Vince Wilfork. The whole team, they do a good job of putting their wing around the rookies and new guys and get us moving forward.

Q: What is the biggest transition from college to the pros?

CJ: That’s a great question. It’s different from just time management. You have a lot more free time being a professional athlete and you have to use your time wisely.

Q: What did you do with your time between mini-camp and now?

CJ: Training. I was training 100 percent. I went back to Syracuse and I trained with my old strength and conditioning coach to get ready for training camp.

Q: Are your knee braces a precautionary measure or do you have a previous injury there?

CJ: The knee braces are a part of our uniform.

Q: Any big surprises for your first day of camp or is it what you expected?

CJ: Like I said, camp’s going smoothly. I had OTAs and I had rookie mini-camp. I think those events prepped me very well for training camp and I’m excited to come back out here tomorrow.

Q: What is the biggest adjustment with not having to go to school in September?

CJ: The biggest adjustment, like I said previously, is time management. Whenever I was in school, when I got out of practice, I did homework or played video games. But guys are going home to their families and guys are getting into their playbooks. This is our job. This is how we’re going to support our families and eat food. It’s just a whole different approach.

Q: Have you been good with time management in the past?

CJ: Definitely, definitely. I have brothers who are professional athletes, so they prep me for what I’m getting ready to go into.

Q: So what you are saying is that there is nobody you can play video games with?

CJ: Oh yeah, I’m playing video games, I’m just saying… There’re a lot of guys to play video games with. It’s just different; a lot more focus than college.

Q: This rookie class seems to have developed a strong bond already.

CJ: Definitely. Believe it or not, I knew half of those rookies before we got drafted. I met some of them at the Combine. I even played against some of them. We kind of all knew each other before. I was following them on Twitter before we even got drafted. The bond was already there and now it’s just a matter of time before we get that trust out on the field.

Q: Is there a feeling of, ‘We’re all going through this together so we might as well stick together’?

CJ: Exactly, exactly.

Q: Have the coaches told you tone it down on Twitter at all during camp?

CJ: You’re going to have to ask Bill [Belichick] about that one.

Q: What type of NBA player do you think Fab Melo is going to be?

CJ: Fab Melo’s a great friend of mine. I’m not an NBA analyst, but he was a great player for me, watching him at Syracuse and I’m excited for his career with the Celtics.

Q: Is it a start-over process every time you reach a different level, whether it’s college starting over the NFL? How do you go about that process of saying, ‘OK, this is something new once again’?

CJ: I would say that it’s more exciting than anything, you know. Every level of any sport I’ve played, I’m excited to actually set goals and make new goals and stack up and take it day by day. It’s more exciting than anything.

Q: How much stuff are they throwing at you?

CJ: My job right now is to earn respect from the veterans and be a sponge, learn the playbook, earn respect from Vince Wilfork and the rest of the guys and keep moving forward.

Q: Are you and Fab Melo close?

CJ: Oh yeah, we’re very close.

Q: Did you text him on draft night?

CJ: Yup, talked him on draft night, you saw it. Haha, no, I’m kidding.

Q: Do you feel more comfortable playing upright or with your hand in the dirt?

CJ: Whatever coach asks me to do I’m going to do. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

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