One minute, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was riding high as a NFL Pro Bowler in his rookie year.
The next, he was competing with somebody named Bailey Zappe.
Such is life in the NFL.
The Patriots selected Jones with the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after he led the Alabama Crimson Tide to a national championship.
That decision immediately pay dividends when Jones threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns as a rookie. But year two was a struggle. The loss of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels mixed with injuries issues meant Jones threw for just 2,997 yards, 14 tocuhdowns and 11 interceptions.
Additionally, he came under fire for both attitude issues and dirty plays as the Patriots limped to an 8-9 record and missed the playoffs.
New England Patriots Coaches Were Told To Take It Easy On Mac Jones
Now it appears that Patriots coaches were told to take it easy on Jones, but that the second-year quarterback wasn’t a fan of that decision.
Eventually, Jones said he wanted to be coached harder. A team source told me that coaches were instructed not to be too hard on Jones in an effort to protect him from being too critical of himself. There was an issue in 2021 with Jones struggling after getting yelled at, per the source. That source also suggested, in hindsight, it might have been a mistake to go easy on the quarterback. – via Fox Sports
Jones’ issues with offensive coordinator Matt Patricia are no secret. Jones and Patricia, who had never been an offensive coordinator prior to 2022, did not exactly see eye to eye.
But he should be more comfortable in 2023. The Patriots replaced Patricia with Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. O’Brien served at the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011 after serving as the quarterbacks coach in both 2009 and 2010.