Patriots CB Cyrus Jones Says He Hit Point Where He 'Didn't Even Want to Play'February 18, 2017
New England Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones should have had the time of his life last season after his team won a Super Bowl in historic fashion, but the 2016 second-round pick didn't find much to celebrate about.
In an interview with Childs Walker of the Baltimore Sun, Jones didn't allow himself to bask in the glow of the Patriots' 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51.
"I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to," Jones said. "I was part of the team, but I didn't feel a part of it."
It's a candid and frank statement from Jones, who is just 23 years old and seemingly had the world in the palm of his hands when arguably the best franchise in North American sports made him its top draft choice.
The reason for Jones' sullen outlook was due to his poor performance on the field. He only appeared in 10 games for the Patriots during the regular season and was inactive for five of their final six games, including the Super Bowl.
"I honestly felt cursed," he said. "I reached a point where I didn't even want to play. I just didn't have it. ... What I did this year was not me. I don't care how anybody tries to sugarcoat it. Yes, I was a rookie. But I feel I should always be one of the best players on the field, no matter where I am."
This is not the first time Jones has spoken out about his disappointing rookie season. He called it "one of the most challenging times in my life" in an Instagram post from February 13.
Another low for Jones was a recent piece published by ESPN in which Mike Reiss named the young cornerback as the New England player most in need of a change of scenery.
"But honestly, it pisses me off," Jones told Walker. "You can say shut it out or don't listen, but I know people are talking, and it's negative. I'm not a dumb guy. It definitely affects me. What it should do is piss me off in a way that I want to shut them all up."
Beyond just talking about how much last season affected him, Jones has focused his attention on getting better for 2017. Walker noted the former Alabama star has canceled vacation plans with his parents so he could focus on preparing for the upcoming season.
Jones came to the NFL seemingly riding a wave of momentum. He played for the most prestigious program in college football, won a national championship in his final season and was named defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl against Michigan State.
This is just an example of how wide the gap is between college football and the NFL. It takes a lot of work and talent to be a successful professional athlete.
Jones understands what he did as a rookie wasn't good enough and is focused on improving his game. It will take work for him to get back in the Patriots' good graces, but he certainly has the mindset to get there when training camp opens this summer.