Patriots’ Bill Belichick Heaps Ton Of Praise On Mac Jones

New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, NFL News
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The New England Patriots got things back on track during the 2021 season after a very disappointing 2020 performance. But, the best thing to come out of their underwhelming 2020 season was that they were able to select Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jones was selected No. 15 overall and had a solid rookie campaign. He led the team to 10 wins, which was good enough to earn a Wild Card spot. While the playoff game didn’t go as planned against the Buffalo Bills, it was still an encouraging first season in the league for the Alabama product.

When compared to his peers in the 2021 draft class, Jones is head and shoulders above them. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. While they aren’t gaudy numbers, he finished ahead of the likes of Lamar Jackson, Ryan Tannehill and Tua Tagovailoa in Sports Info Solutions IQR, which takes the regular passer rating another step, figuring out their rating but not counting things outside of their control.

A successful game manager in Year 1, the Patriots are hoping that Jones can take that next step in Year 2. Head coach Bill Belichick is impressed with the work that Jones has done heading into his sophomore season.

“He did a great job last year, but he’s starting from a much, much higher point this year from where he started last year,” Belichick told reporters Tuesday morning. “His offseason work has been significant, and I think everyone recognizes how well he prepares and how much further along he was than a year ago.”

It will be a little bit of an adjustment, as Josh McDaniels is no longer the offensive coordinator; he is now the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. No announcement has been made about who will call the plays for the offense, which could put even more pressure on Jones to make calls and adjustments at the line of scrimmage.

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That isn’t something that has phased him, as Bill Belichick also praised the level of understanding for the offense that Jones possesses.

“We’re just a lot further ahead in the conversation (offensively),” Belichick said. “The plays that we talk about, or concepts we talk about, Mac has already done it before. It’s easy for him to say, ‘Are we going to do this on that? Are we going to do this on something else? What do you think about splitting them a little bit wider? Splitting them a little bit tighter.’

“Suggestions like that. And we have a much better feel for what he can do, what his strengths are, and how to try to play into those. He’s self-aware, too. He knows what he does well. We want to try to feature those.”

It sounds as if Jones is ready to do some big things in 2022. With another weapon added to the mix at wide receiver in DeVante Parker, Jones should be able to take his game to the next level.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are counting on it, as the defense may take some time to come together after losing so much talent this offseason. Mac Jones will have to elevate his performance beyond being a game manager if New England wants to compete for a playoff spot.

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