Saturday May 12, 2012

FOXBOROUGH (AP) -- New England's Chandler Jones took the field with no idea what to expect from his first day of rookie minicamp Friday.

All he knew was that the Patriots wanted him here. So much so that they traded up to select the former Syracuse defensive end at No. 21 overall last month.

So, no better time than the present to start showing they made the right decision, right?

"I'm just going in there blind," Jones said, as he donned his new No. 95 shorts and a grey Patriots t-shirt. "Just taking it one day at a time."

Jones, 22, is among several new Patriots eager to be seen this weekend, as the 2012 roster begins to take shape at Foxborough.

"A lot of people tell me I only get the opportunity to make one first impression. This week is my opportunity to make a first impression," Jones said. "What I'm trying to do is learn this playbook and impress the coaches."

How the staff views him in the early going is important to Jones, but the education element is an even bigger factor during this first weekend.

"The key is to learn all the dos and don'ts. Be a sponge," he said. "Know your role and earn respect from everyone. It's just the different trends and learning different ways, and getting in with the guys and build trust with them."

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound lineman took the field at the Dana Farber Fieldhouse, next to Gillette Stadium, along with 19 other minicamp roster invitees for an elongated walkthrough. The players went through some stretching and agility drills before breaking off into positional groups. The players were unable to participate in contact drills, due to offseason NFL restrictions.

The Patriots' other six drafts picks were also in attendance, including the team's other first-round selection, linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

New England will conclude the two-day minicamp at Gillette today.