The Patriots' 23-year-old defensive end grew up with older brothers Arthur (a Ravens DE) and Jon (UFC light heavyweight champion) in Endicott, N.Y. Through Sunday, Chandler ranked fifth in the NFL with 10½ sacks.
DAN PATRICK:Do you listen to what Peyton Manning is saying at the line of scrimmage?
CHANDLER JONES: Definitely. Maybe certain things can help you later. That's just being a student of the game.
DP:What did that comeback win over the Broncos in Week 12 mean to you?
CJ: It was a testament not just for our team but for everybody. I'm pretty sure guys around the NFL were watching that game. Young players were watching. High school coaches. College coaches. Even peewee. Just to see that you can rally and come back as a team.
DP:When you first got to New England, who were you more in awe of—Tom Brady or Bill Belichick?
CJ: It was Tom Brady. I can take you back to the day I met him. I was getting taped in the locker room on the first day of practice and everyone called me Rook. Someone taps me on the shoulder and says, "Chandler, it's a pleasure to have you on the team." I turned around and it was Tom. He knew I was starstruck. I said thanks and stared at him and was like, You're Tom!
DP:So you didn't exactly play it cool.
CJ: I was like, You know my name?
DP:Have you seen Brady wear the same thing twice?
CJ: I haven't paid attention to his attire, but he's a well-dressed man. This is off-the-record, but [receiver] Julian Edelman also dresses well.
DP:Has anyone in your family asked for Brady's signature?
CJ: With my other brother playing for the Ravens, that would be a cardinal sin. But with Christmas rolling around, I'll be that naggy teammate going up to these guys to get a few balls signed.
DP:Did you get picked on growing up?
CJ: I got picked on every single day.
DP:Who was tougher on you, Arthur or Jon?
CJ: It was Jon. He used to have a little temper problem. I would pick my battles wisely. Arthur never picked on me. He was the oldest, and he had to play the older brother role.
DP:How would you fare against Jon in the Octagon?
CJ:[Laughs.] I'd take a shot at him. I'd run a little bit. I wouldn't back down.
DP:How would Jon do on a football field?
CJ: Jon is a tremendous athlete. He played defensive tackle in high school, believe it or not. That's how he got the nickname Jon (Bones) Jones. He was so skinny in his big pads he looked like a bag of bones. If he played football, he'd be pretty good. We'd have to put more meat on him.
DP:I thought it meant he would break bones.
CJ: It's a double meaning.
ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger discussed the impact of his Sept. 7 in-game interview with Eminem: "I'm out here in Montana running errands during the week and inevitably someone will say, 'What was with Eminem? How's your buddy?' We've never gotten as much attention as we did for that." ... I asked Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan if he has ever hit QB Drew Brees in practice. "No. What? Stop it," Jordan said. "That's not going to happen.... Possibly if I make the Pro Bowl [in which players may now line up against teammates]. And even then I don't know if I'd want to hit him." ... Jordan Lynch has had a prolific career as the Northern Illinois quarterback, but he's flexible when it comes to landing a job in the NFL. "I would tell them I'm a quarterback first," Lynch told me. "If that doesn't work out, then I'll take whatever my best shot is at making the team."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
RIC TAPIA/AP (JONES)
BILL MCCAY/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (MUSBURGER)
WESLEY HITT/GETTY IMAGES (JORDAN)
TODD ROSENBERG FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (LYNCH)