Patriots players have very high praise for Mac Jones
With all the talk about Cam Newton’s release and whether or not his vaccination status played a role in it, many people have lost sight of the fact that rookie Mac Jones has played well enough in his first offseason to win a starting quarterback job. New England Patriots players do not seem surprised.
Jones has drawn incredibly high praise from his veteran teammates since he was named the Patriots’ starter. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne says Jones already “seems so relaxed” in situations like the 2-minute drill. Bourne seems to have no concern that Jones can handle the spotlight in his first season.
“Yeah, for anybody, you get named the starter, that’s a different kind of urgency,” Bourne said, via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “You can’t mess up. The only way is down. For any starter, I think you feel that pressure, but he was built for it since (Alabama). I think he’s more ready than anybody really knows.”
Defensive players feel the same way. Cornerback J.C. Jackson said you would never know Jones is only 22 and entering his first NFL season.
“Mac Jones, he’s going to be that guy,” Jackson said. “I mean, he’s a rookie, but he plays like a vet. The way he reads defense. The way he steps up in the pocket, delivers the ball. He’s improved since the first time I’ve seen him.”
Belichick probably would have preferred for Newton to beat out Jones. That way, Jones could have sat on the bench for a while and learned before being thrust into action. The fact that Jones won the job says a lot about how impressive he must have been during training camp, and that is reflected in his teammates’ comments.
It would be natural for Jones to feel pressure, especially when he sees how crazy fans went buying his jersey. But, as Bourne mentioned, Jones certainly dealt with plenty of pressure at Alabama. That experience is one of the main reasons the Patriots drafted him.