Alabama in the Pros

Cyrus Jones’ Struggles Return in Preseason Opener

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

He wanted to forget last year entirely, to pretend his rookie season never even happened. He was ready to move on to greater things in 2017, despite his miscues and misfortunes. Cyrus Jones, a second round pick by the New England Patriots in 2016, failed to live up to the hype he had garnered coming out of Tuscaloosa. For Jones, though, that was in the rear view mirror, fading ever so slowly out of sight. He even changed his number from 24 to 41.

That speed bump, or whatever you may call it, reared its ugly head once again in Thursday night’s preseason match-up with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was one of the best defensive backs to have ever be under Nick Saban’s tutelage at Alabama. He became known for his big plays on defense and as a returner. That has yet to translate to the pro level, and Thursday night may have been the lowest of lows for the Maryland native.

He was burned – torched, even – on several occasions. One, in particular, will haunt him for a long while. On a 3rd-and-6, backed up into their own endzone, the Jaguars should have been met with an easy three-and-out scenario. Instead, their quarterback dropped back and delivered a deep ball down the sideline in Jones’ direction. He remains in coverage at first, but when he turned his head around it became a disaster. A 98-yard score.

Unfortunately, that was not the only bad news for Cyrus Jones on the night. Later in the game, another ball came flying his way. He started off the play in press coverage against one of last year’s Heisman finalists, Dede Westbrook, with his eyes on the quarterback. A moment later, Westbrook was speeding down the sideline and into the corner of the endzone. Wide open.

After the play, Jones threw his hands up in disgust. The announcers were quick to point out that he was beat again, on a similar play as before except with safety help. Jones, perhaps, thought the safety was going to slide over and cover the receiver, but he underestimated Westbrook’s speed.

All is not lost for Cyrus Jones, though his hopes appear to be growing ever so thinner. Being that he was a second round draft choice, it is likely the Patriots organization will keep him around a little while longer. If this is just the beginning of a really bad preseason, however, Belichick and his staff will have a decision on their hands. Crimson Tide fans are hoping for the best for the former great.

Jake Weaver is a lead writer for TD Alabama Magazine and Bama Hoops Hype. You can contact him via phone at 205-612-5060, or on Twitter @JWeaver_TDALMag

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