Mac Jones was once considered an ascending player in the league. After leading the Patriots to the postseason as a rookie, the Alabama product has suffered from lackluster play since. Is it Jones’ fault? Or New England’s?
The AFC East sent multiple teams to the postseason in the past few years. The Bills and Patriots qualified in 2021, while the Bills and Dolphins did so in 2022. Now, with the Jets starting Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, New York is ready to throw its hat in the ring.
In this article, we will highlight the Patriots in further detail by asking the all-important question: Has New England failed to properly support Mac Jones?
Buy or Sell: The Patriots have stunted the development of Mac Jones
The Patriots decided not to trade up for a more traitsy quarterback in 2021 as Bill Belichick and Co. stayed out and let the chips fall. As you’d have it, the passer who best fits the Patriot mold would be the one still available. Without much hesitation, New England got what it hoped to be an heir to the throne vacated by Tom Brady.
Alas, Mac’s time with the Patriots has been quite the rollercoaster ride. In Year 1, with a steady offensive play-caller in Josh McDaniels, Jones looked like a capable signal-caller in the league. He even propelled the franchise back into postseason play, helping some get over the sting of losing Brady an offseason prior.
Patriots fail to effectively replace Josh McDaniels
Year 2 was supposed to be a step up for the first-round talent. But McDaniels left for Vegas and was replaced by an amalgamation of mid-coaches being asked to lead a positional group they have minimal experience with. It was a complete and utter organizational failure.
What’s worse, the front office didn’t do anything to mitigate this swap at offensive coordinator by beefing up the roster. Instead, it threw a ton of money at a couple of tight ends and Matthew Judon. Credit to Judon; he has more than earned his contract. But there is no excuse for Jakobi Meyers or JuJu Smith-Schuster being a WR1.
I think Mac Jones has legitimate shortcomings from a physical sense. His arm strength is average on his best day and horrific on his worst day. Jones is a statue in the pocket. This lack of mobility is not conducive to extending and creating plays out of structure. He will never be that. Nor does he have to be.
If Jones accepts his limitations and works on controlling the things he can control, there is more than enough talent in that right arm to last. He is a pretty intelligent guy in terms of processing defenses, and I have yet to find another quarterback prospect that can throw with the anticipation Jones does.
The Patriots have let the young signal-caller down nearly every step of the way. From the top of the organization all the way to the bottom: He deserves better. If Belichick is serious about winning another Super Bowl in his career, he must commit the same resources toward Jones that he did with Brady. It’s no guarantee that Jones would be able to carry that load, but the only way to guarantee he won’t is to never give him a fair chance.