Cyrus Jones at a glance
Height: 5-10. Weight: 196.
Need to know: Jones started his college career as a receiver, catching four passes in 11 games as a true freshman . . . Was switched to defense as a sophomore in 2013, and he finished his career with seven interceptions . . . Excelled as a punt returner, taking four back for touchdowns as a senior . . . Was arrested on April 29, 2015, and charged with third degree domestic violence criminal mischief and third degree domestic violence harassment. The charges were subsequently dropped . . . Baltimore native.
Here are some highlights from Jones’s conference call Friday night:
Q: What spurred the decision to make the move from wide receiver to cornerback a few years ago?
A: Coach [Nick] Saban, you know, we were losing a couple of defensive backs after my freshman year and coach knew that I could play DB and he asked me, would I be willing to try it out for the spring time. I bought in and I just wanted to help the team in any way possible and it worked out for me and the team.
Q: When did you start returning punts at Alabama and will that allow you to get on the field quicker as a pro?
A: I returned punts in high school and I was pretty good at it. I just had that knack for just finding creases and being able to see where to cut at and I had good vision always. That ability just increased in college, and as I got more comfortable I started to have more success over time and I had my best year my senior year. I think, like you said, that’s going to be a big way for me to get on the field early next season.
Q: Did you play some nickel in college or were you on the outside more?
A: I played nickel a good deal in practice but Coach Saban always wanted me on the outside so that’s where I predominantly was in the season, and in games I was always pretty much trailing the top receiver for the opposite team, so they would line up on the outside the majority of the time, so that’s where I’d find myself. I can definitely play nickel. It’s no problem if I have to slide inside.
Q: Do you feel playing in a lot of high-profile games at Alabama has prepared you for the next level?
A: I think it’s prepared me a great deal. Playing for Coach Saban — he’s a great coach, arguably one of the best, arguably the best in the country — and I’ve heard many things that he’s compared to Coach [Bill] Belichick and that our program is ran similar to how the Patriots’ is run. I feel as though I’m greatly prepared for the next level thanks to Coach Saban and the people I had around me for four years, just getting me ready both on and off the field.
Q: Do you enjoy the film study aspect of football?
A: Yes, I love watching film. I used to get teased a lot at ’Bama by my coaches saying I should have an office where their offices were because I was in the film room so much and up there almost just as much as they were. I love watching film and think that’s the key to becoming a better player. There are a lot of players in this league that have physical gifts and talent but you know working hard off the field, I think that’s what separates you.
Q: What are your thoughts on watching the New England cornerbacks as a fan the past few years?
A: They’re just a hungry group. That’s what I see when I watch, and you know they’re smart. They go out there and they play with a chip on their shoulder every Sunday and that’s exactly how I play. I can’t wait to meet those guys and just try to earn their respect.
Q: What do you think it will be like playing for Bill Belichick?
A: I think it’ll be pretty similar to playing for Coach Saban. Probably amped up a little bit more and obviously more intense and more at stake, but I think I’ve been prepared very well and I know he’s a great coach and great guy and I’m just ready to get in there and work hard and earn my spot on the team.