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New England Patriots Training Camp: Chandler Jones Is 'The Real Deal'

New England's defense in 2012 is looking like it could be quite a bit better than years past.

ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, essentially embedded at Pats camp, posted his observations through New England's first 18 practices -- and he thinks quite highly of first round draft pick, Chandler Jones.

Chandler Jones is the real deal. So much for the "he might need some seasoning" chatter that was so prevalent at the draft. The first-round draft choice seized the opportunity for additional reps at right defensive end when Rob Ninkovich was sidelined for a few days early in camp, and now looks like a permanent fixture there (with Ninkovich moving to the left side). While Jones has impressed on the field, he's also made an impression on his teammates off the field as a humble rookie who is willing to carry veterans' shoulder pads on his way off the field.

Reiss also notes that Steve Gregory is the projected starter along side Patrick Chung at safety, as the Patriots figure to boast a much, much better defense in 2012.

For the latest on the Patriots, check out Pats Pulpit.