It’s been a frustrating sophomore season on and off the field for the New England Patriots Mac Jones.
Before suffering the ankle sprain that kept him sidelined for the past three weeks, Jones struggled to adapt to the Patriots’ “smooth” attack. With Matt Patricia and Joe Judge replacing Josh McDaniels as de facto offensive coordinators, Jones threw five interceptions over three games.
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Apparently, these offensive changes combined with Jones’ injury caused some tension backstage in New England. MMQB’s Albert Breer says the relationship between Jones and the team has at times been strained lately.
“I think things have really gone a little bit skewed over the last couple of months,” Brier said on Sunday. Patriots Pregem Life. “I think it’s due to the change from Josh McDaniels.” Why would we bring Joe Judge and Matt Patricia when Bill O’Brien was sitting there and maybe we could run on him? Defensive guy and special team guy here? Why change the attack? Why are we simplifying after all the success you’ve had? ‘…
“I think that’s bleeding from the injury now and I think that gave the coaches a chance to send a message to Mac. I don’t think Mac was in danger of losing his job, but I don’t think they told Mac that either. I don’t think they said to Mac, ‘Listen, you’re good’ Don’t worry about how to do it Billy Zappy Play.’
Zappe hasn’t brightened the box result since replacing Jones, but the rookie did his part to give his team a chance to win. He forced overtime on his first NFL appearance against the Green Bay Packers, then helped the Patriots win 29-0 over the Detroit Lions on his first career start. His only spin in the two games was an interception that bounced off the hands of wide receiver Nelson Agulor.
Jones is expected to resume his role as QB’s starting player when he’s healthy, but head coach Bill Belichick did not commit to that during his last press conference.
“We’ll see where he is,” Belichick said. “I don’t know.”
Breer believes Belichick and the Patriots are using this as an opportunity to send a message to the first-rounder in 2021.
“This is an opportunity for them to send a message to the Mac that you have to do things better,” Brier added. “Like, if you trust the offense, look at what the offense is doing in this fourth round of western Kentucky. We saw earlier in the year that he worked independently, took some shots on the field, and we saw the spin problem. I think that’s part of the message. Here, watch what Bailey Zappe does. He does what we ask him to do, and watch how the offense works with him.”
Zabby took charge of Jones again in Sunday’s Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns. It would be helpful to watch the Patriots QB’s situation leading up to the Monday night football team’s game against the Chicago Bears.
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