Peyton Manning got shut down by Patriots over Mac Jones interview
The New England Patriots run a notoriously tight ship. So tight, in fact, that not even Peyton Manning can get any interview he wants.
Manning said on Monday night’s alternate “Monday Night Football” broadcast that he had spoken to Bills quarterback Josh Allen in the leadup to the game. He tried to do the same with Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, but was apparently shut down by the organization’s PR staff.
It's all about football in Mac Jones' rookie season 🏈 pic.twitter.com/tab8el9nnk
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 7, 2021
“I tried to talk with Mac Jones,” Manning said. “He was very respectful. He said, ‘Peyton, I wanna do it. But can you call our PR director, Stacey [James]? Because he kind of has to oversee all things.’ I said, ‘No problem.’ I called Stacey. He was very professional. I said, ‘Stacey, I’m talking to coach Belichick. Can I talk to Mac Jones?’
“I appreciate how they’re handling Mac Jones. They are trying to protect him, give him as few off-the-field distractions as possible, let him concentrate on playing football. So yes, I did get denied. It was the first quarterback I haven’t talked to. But I appreciate it.”
Manning said the Indianapolis Colts had taken a similar approach with him while he was a rookie, and made clear that there were no hard feelings over New England’s stance.
It certainly sounds like something the Patriots would do, though not out of malice. This is an organization coached by a guy who started a “no days off” chant at a Super Bowl victory parade. They will want Jones focused, especially ahead of a big divisional game. That means no Manning interviews.
Photo: Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports