Pats used to distractions
foxborough, mass. » The New England Patriots would have loved to spend the week with nothing else to worry about except Saturday’s playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
But Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones wandered over to the local police station last weekend, shirtless and disoriented, leaving his house reeking of burnt marijuana. Suddenly, the defending Super Bowl champions were back on defense. Fortunately, they’re pretty good at it.
“I mean, are there any more questions about the Chiefs here?” coach Bill Belichick said Thursday after nine consecutive unanswered questions about Jones’ unusual weekend. “The rest of it, I’m done talking about.”
Jones apologized to his teammates and the New England fans Thursday, saying he made a “pretty stupid mistake,” but he declined to elaborate on what happened. Belichick refused to say whether Jones would be benched for fear of revealing valuable strategic information to the Chiefs.
In the Patriots’ locker room, the players said they would have no trouble putting the incident aside during Saturday’s game. And it’s hard to doubt them, afterwhat they have gone through over the last 12 months and beyond.
Hours after New England’s 45- 7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game last January, the Patriots were accused of illegally deflating the footballs. Even before the NFL investigation that would find them guilty, the Patriots plugged up their ears and dug in their heels.
And went on to win another Super Bowl.
A season earlier, New England posted its now- customary 12- win season, AFC East title and trip to the conference championship game despite releasing tight end Aaron Hernandez over the summer, just before he was charged with first- degree murder. ( He was convicted in April 2015, a few months after his former teammates’ Super Bowl victory.)
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones stood up for his “pretty stupid mistake,” apologizing Thursday after stumbling to a police station reeking of burnt marijuana. Michael Dwyer, The Associated Press