The New England Patriots are excited about what the future holds for their starting quarterback, Mac Jones. Jones stepped right into the starting job as a rookie and more than held his own, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions.
There is still plenty of room for improvement, as Jones was essentially a high-end game manager as a rookie. You cannot ask for more than that, though, as the team improved a lot from 2020, their first season without Tom Brady, to 2021, the first of the Jones era.
For New England to take things to the next level, Jones has to take that next step in his development. Becoming more than a game manager and being someone that the Patriots can rely on to produce and win games week in and week out is what separates good quarterbacks from great ones.
The Patriots’ front office has done a good job of upgrading the weapons around Jones so that the development occurs. DeVante Parker was acquired from the Miami Dolphins this offseason, bolstering a wide receiver group that had Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor added to it last offseason, along with tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
At the end of the day, there is only so much the front office can do. The best players can be put around a quarterback, but they still have to put that work in to improve. According to Agholor, Jones is doing just that this offseason.
“He’s definitely trained his butt off, I can tell you that. I see it every day when he comes in here,” Agholor said, via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “He works his butt off, he’s here every day putting the time in. And, obviously, when he throws the football, he throws the football well, really well. I’m impressed with what he does every day and how he works.”
That work ethic was instilled in Jones early on, as he had to earn the starting spot at Alabama as well. He played behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, eventually taking over in 2020 after beating out Tua’s brother, Taulia, with hyped freshman Bryce Young behind him.
There isn’t anything like being prepared for life in the NFL than playing for Nick Saban at Alabama. Mac Jones was ready to play from Day 1 as a rookie and he looks poised to take that next step in his development in Year 2 as well.