Mac Jones’ beautiful mind allowed the Patriots to put everything on him in 2022

When the Patriots picked Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick last April, it was an announcement that he was going to be the man. He will be their leader, their big toe, and the player who will take out the rest of the offense and be dragged.

Ideally, he’d be able to handle the leadership and the workload while also being good at, you know, playing the position.

Being “good” at quarterback isn’t just a “big arm/makes all the throws” for the Patriots. It means the ability to think about the situation. before the snap. during landing. With option path variables and all sorts of bio-situational information roaming through the brain. do it. Then accurately throw the ball at some of the fastest humans on the planet who have been covered by humans at similar speed. All while the biggest humans on the planet try to crush you.

Jones did it all, defeating former NFL player Cam Newton to win the job in camp and then playing well enough to help lead the Patriots to the playoffs and reach the Pro Bowl.

“As a rookie, they’ve put everything on him,” Chris Sims, a sports analyst at NBC Sports, said when unveiling their 2022 quarterback ratings. “It was just as much pressure as a system, team, city and fan base could be on the midfielder.

“… [He’s] He’s probably the best junior decision maker I’ve ever seen.”

The Patriots’ dominant Offseason story was how Bill Belichick chose to replace longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Joe Judge, who did not coach the quarterbacks, is the quarterback coach. Matt Patricia, who has never been a player liaison or coordinated attacker, seems to be on the right track to do both.

How can the Patriots put the fate of the Mack in Year Two in the hands of coaches who – simply – didn’t come as offensive coaches? Maybe because they feel Jones can handle it. Because he has dealt with everything else so far.

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During the Patriots’ two mini-camp rehearsals this week, Jones’ ridiculous accuracy was on display. Not just in simple pitch throws and catches but over and over on the contested pitch in the little windows.

Practically every player makes a jump in their second season. I have settled in. His nutrition improved. Expectations are understood. Jones’ jump comes from a higher platform. He has already shown an amazing degree of mastery of the most difficult things.

Sims, who put Jones at number eighteen on his list, stuns Mac.

“He had to play a real system without managing it or massaging it,” Sims said. (The request was) ‘You have to be a pro player in the first week. You should be able to run for 2 minutes and we need to count on you on the third and fourth you’ll throw an accurate pass for 5 yards like Brady did in Year 15.” That’s basically what he was asked to do, with no threat on the field to scare people.

“When I came back and watched it was better than I could remember. Unbelievable accuracy. Unbelievable touch. Unbelievable anticipation. I wish his arm was more powerful and explosive? Sure. But I went back and watched all his throws,” Hmmm. His arm is better than I could possibly imagine in my mind at times.” Lots of big throws were made on the field with not necessarily great players. There were a lot of big throws dropped and balls where to go, “Man, the ball is in the money here. …and they didn’t make the play to help him.”

Teammates notice McJones driving ahead of season two

Sims Jones ranked right before Carson Wentz and two ahead of Brady’s successor, Jimmy Garoppolo. Jones was the highest-grossing quarterback of the 2021 class with the Jets’ Zach Wilson at 22, and Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence right behind them. The ages of Tua Tagoviloa, Jared Goff and Trey Lance are 29, 30 and 31.

Sims let Lawrence, for example, improve and jump on Jones. But, Sims added, “I think this guy will get better too. This guy is smart. I hear what he’s saying. He realizes he has to throw the ball a little bit more hard and hard and be more explosive. I’m not going to do that.” We’d be surprised if we didn’t see Joe Burr jump from (year one to year two). “

I asked Bill Belichick this week about Jones’ role in helping to shape the new streamlined Patriots attack. Is Jones somewhat cooperative?

“We’re really going to do everything we can, to make it as good for him as possible – he’s our midfielder. I don’t know a lot of the ingredients for that,” Belichick said.

It will be interesting to see how the Patriots offense turns out this year. Jones goes from McDaniels, the league’s most experienced and accomplished offensive coordinator, to two coaches who – despite their ages – haven’t been quite as immersed in attacking at the NFL level as Jones was in 2021.

The Patriots will go as far as Jones’ delicate arm and sweet mind can take them. And they seem really comfortable with that.

Curran on the burden on Jones in 2022

McNeills enabled Jones to drive fast and seize opportunities. Which still leaves Simms stunned.

“Patriots McJones believed over 49 people who trusted Garoppolo or Colts and trusted Wentz,” Sims said. “There’s no doubt about it. The way they call plays in certain situations. The plays they call out in those situations just told me they trusted Mac Jones.”

“A lot of times with Garoppolo, they’d have two vibrating plays in a row and then just say, ‘It’s the third and the fifth, let’s just throw an f screen, and if we get it, that’s cool. If we don’t, we just throw him away. Same with Wentz, “Let’s block it out and send someone deep and let him throw it in there.”

“Then it’s Mac Jones,” Sims continued. “The third and the fourth, and they’re like, ‘Let’s call that f—— we play where on the left side we do a diagonal and the guy comes back out and there’s going to be a guy running out the way over the top. Tell him to read it. And if he doesn’t like it, he can go back to the middle of the field and we’ll have two or three more guys coming into a tight spot there and we want him to do that.

“To me, that’s the difference between him and Wentz,” Sims said. “His talent is not as good as Wentz at the moment but he is more trustworthy with the ball, he is more accurate. With Garoppolo I think he is more talented and smarter indeed.”

When the Patriots captured Jones XV, it was clear that they would one day bump into him with their chariot. This has already happened. And now it is in drag mode. The Patriots are not likely to be pushed by defense in 2022. They don’t have any super players in skill positions. They will go as far as Jones’ delicate arm and beautiful mind can take them. And they seem really comfortable with that.

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