Who is Brian Jones?
That's the question we asked Jaguars insider Charlie Bernstein. Charlie has been watching Jones' struggles to make positive contributions to Jacksonville's offense, the same offense that had Kyle Brady on its roster.
Here's what Bernstein had to say about Jones:
Brian Jones was the third string tight end for the Jaguars from 2004 through last season, when he was placed on the IR (knee) during training camp. Jones has solid hands, and a little bit of blocking ability. Jones is a big guy who isn't as fast as he should be, considering his lack of mass. Jones arrived in Jacksonville at the wrong time with some bad offensive coordinators (Bill Musgrave, Carl Smith) who didn't value the position of tight end, at least not for receiving. Jones was believed to have a future in Jacksonville before the '06 season when the Jaguars drafted Marcedes Lewis in the first round, but injuries cut his stay short, and he was never able to beat out George Wrighster for the backup job. The Jaguars signed Jones as an undrafted free agent in '04.
What is the roster impact Jones will have on the Patriots?
For that answer we turned to Patriots Insider Jon Scott
What we've seen of Jones in Patriots camp:
In his first few practices with the Patriots Jones has the appearance of a quality backup at the position. In team drills, he was able to run decent routes, finding soft spots in the defense's zone scheme after having only a rudimentary knowledge of the offensive play book. Jones made a number of impressive grabs of passes which were thrown high to the back of the end zone during red zone drills. Jones scored on two of the three passes thrown to him, once beating Ellis Hobbs, the other beating a combination of safeties on a high pass by Matt Gutierrez.
Biggest Question: Can Jones block?
That remains to be seen, and will be easier to evaluate over the next couple of preseason games. The 6-foot-3, 258-pound Louisiana native has enough size to take on a linebacker, but quickness will be the key. More time learning the system will help Jones who was a decent rated prospect when he came out of Arkansas - Pine Bluff.
Chances to stick on the roster:
Jones has a limited opportunity to stick depending upon the seriousness of the injuries to Kyle Brady and David Thomas. For Jones, what he can hope for is Thomas to begin the season on the PUP – a likely scenario, and for Brady's physical concerns to be significant enough to cause concern among the Patriots' brass to have to keep an extra tight end on the roster. With Brady, Thomas, Watson holding down the top three spots, there is likely only one spot left and Marcellus Rivers seems to be in position to win that spot if it exists.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and writes for the New Smyrna Observer.