Trouble in Foxboro? There has been “dysfunction” between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Mac Jones, in keeping with Pro Football Talk Tuesday.
Belichick and the Patriots have shopped the second-year quarterback to a number of groups this offseason, in keeping with Mike Florio. There has not been any actual motion on Jones leaving, nevertheless it seems he is at the moment the subject of ongoing conversations.
In case New England wants some recommendation on what to do with Jones, we broke down three the explanation why the Patriots ought to hold him, and three extra the explanation why they need to look elsewhere for a beginning quarterback.
Why the Patriots ought to hold Jones
1. He can develop with higher teaching
Jones was drafted in 2021 with the No. 15 total choose in 2021, which means he is solely had two seasons to regulate to the league and develop as a starter.
Quarterbacks don’t (normally) develop into in a single day stars going from school to the NFL. These days it may be simple for groups to demand greatness immediately and need to transfer on when a quarterback struggles, however giving them the enough period of time will be extra useful than leaping from QB to QB.
We have seen some present prime quarterbacks take longer to rise to stardom, together with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who has overtly defended younger quarterbacks.
“I threw three picks towards the Patriots my second 12 months, and that is type of the sport the place all of it clicked for me, after that sport. So you’ll be able to take that for what it’s,” Allen mentioned. “Sometimes it takes a bit longer. It took me some time to type of perceive the nuances of this sport and making an attempt to not do an excessive amount of. I believe that is what it comes right down to, not making an attempt to do an excessive amount of and permitting you to belief your guys on the sphere with you.”
The Patriots had Matt Patricia primarily calling offensive performs final 12 months, which did nobody on that aspect of the ball any favors. The group now has Bill O’Brien returning for an additional stint as offensive coordinator and he ought to be capable of assist Jones take it up a degree. With lackluster play-calling and restricted offensive weapons for Jones, he was not precisely arrange for fulfillment. If he can get the items he wants with a greater assist system he’ll doubtless present enchancment.
2. Patriots have lack of higher choices
It’s a blunt approach of placing it and never a praise to Jones, nevertheless it’s the truth. Jones might not be destined for the Hall of Fame, however proper now there are usually not many quarterbacks choices, on the roster or as avenue free brokers. The Patriots have Bailey Zappe, who gained over New England rapidly, however is he actually a greater possibility?
Patriots followers have been chanting “If you are Zappe and you realize it clap your arms” within the stands final 12 months, however a full season of Zappe wouldn’t invite as a lot clapping because the followers hope.
The Patriots will reportedly not pursue Lamar Jackson, regardless of curiosity from the quarterback. With Jackson presumably off the desk, another free agent choices embrace Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Carson Wentz. They may additionally go for somebody within the draft with their No. 14 total choose, however that leaves time wanted for that quarterback to get comfy and make noise within the league.
3. Jones touted by revered Patriot captain
Recently retired New England security and captain Devin McCourty is likely one of the most revered gamers in current Patriots historical past, on and off the sphere. McCourty spoke out on how he feels about Jones, and it’s all constructive.
He cleared the air on the rumored rigidity within the locker room, saying the 24-year-old has been a pacesetter since he walked within the door. McCourty feels assured that Jones is the longer term in New England.
“… He’s a captain in that locker room, in solely his second 12 months and actually was type of a captain earlier than as a rookie main these guys,” McCourty mentioned (by way of ESPN.com). “So, I’m excited for Mac. I believe sky is the restrict. I believe he is the way forward for New England. Any doubts I believe you are unsuitable should you do not assume that. He’s in that constructing proper now doing various things, working with guys, speaking to guys, that is what he desires.”
McCourty mentioned Jones “speaks to what he thinks” and “has all of the intangibles and belongings you need in a quarterback.”
“What I really like about Mac is that Mac got here right into a management function as a quarterback and he speaks to what he thinks,” McCourty mentioned. “So, I believe Mac has all of the intangibles and the issues that you really want in a quarterback. Hopefully Billy O [new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien] is there for some time, and I believe you will see the true progress.”
Why the Patriots ought to discover one other QB
1. Mac by the numbers
Jones didn’t have the best season whether or not you evaluate him to different quarterbacks or himself the 12 months earlier than. Jones performed 14 video games, finishing 65.2% of his passes with 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In 2021, he had a 67.6 completion proportion, 3,801 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The Patriots offense was the clear weak spot on the group; because the protection soared, Jones and people on his aspect of the ball sank. They struggled to attain on the whole, however particularly to begin the sport, going months earlier than they received in the long run zone offensively within the first quarter. Not having the ability to begin off robust solely developed right into a sample of struggling.
2. Questionable decision-making
There have been many occasions the place Jones’ decisions have been questionable. Jones was in the course of the street when it comes to most sacked quarterbacks final season, however being the center of the street is a sample, and an issue, for the QB. He was sacked 34 occasions in 2022, the seventh most among the many remainder of his place.
Interceptions have been additionally a difficulty, and whereas his vast receivers have been typically in charge, it was rushed and determined passes that prompted lots of the turnovers. The chemistry with the offense didn’t appear to be there and that was clear with their dropping 8-9 report. The former first-rounder had zero fourth-quarter comebacks final season (and the group actually may’ve used some).
Jones had some robust moments, however the inconsistency makes him a query mark forward of each sport. Which Jones will you get: The one who throws interceptions and takes sacks, or the one who connects along with his receivers and makes use of the run sport?
The Patriots made the playoffs in Jones’ first 12 months, solely to be blown out by the Bills within the wild-card spherical 47-17 and has but to show himself in large moments.
3. Issues with Bill
If the problems with Belichick are true, it doesn’t take a lot analyzing to find out that’s not factor. Belichick has nice energy within the Patriots constructing and if he finds a motive to, he’ll bench or launch a participant even when their taking part in capacity is required for the group. (See: Malcolm Butler within the Super Bowl).
There at the moment are experiences Belichick is upset that Jones sought outdoors recommendation through the 2022 season.
“The yelling and the gesticulations through the video games was irritating sufficient,” Tom E. Curran advised WEEI, “however going outdoors the constructing for counsel, that basically pissed Bill off. … Disloyalty, in Bill’s thoughts, is sort of worse than unhealthy play.”
No one desires to be on the unhealthy aspect of Bill, particularly in case you are meant to be the beginning quarterback. McCourty has defended Jones, however that won’t negate any present or future criticism from others within the locker room.
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