The McCourty twins watched Mac Jones’ first NFL start from different sidelines last Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
But the team captains for the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots came away with a similar impression of the quarterback, as shared on The Ringer’s “The Bill Simmons Podcast.”
“Man, he didn’t make any mistakes in the game,” said Jason McCourty, who signed with the Dolphins in May after spending the previous three seasons with New England. “He was poised. Even between plays, he was yelling at the offense to get it going. Just a guy that seemed in total control of the offense, making checks at the line of scrimmage. Even when we watched him on film in the preseason, it was like, this guy’s a rookie but he’s playing like a veteran out there. So we kind of knew like, all right, we’re going to have to bring our best game to be able to defeat him.”
Miami defeated New England by a score of 17-16 in the AFC East opener. The No. 15 overall pick under center for the latter would be hit nine times. But he would also finish 29-of-39 passing for 281 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
It was the next step in an acclimation that began during organized team activities in the spring and continued during training camp in the summer.
“I think when he came in, just to see how he kind of went about everything,” said Devin McCourty, whose tenure in New England dates back to the first round of the 2010 draft. “Obviously, I tell people all the time, transitioning from college to NFL quarterback, it’s hard to know what any of these guys can do. But I would say Mac’s kind of attitude and his approach to the game I think made a lot of the veterans really like him and love what he was doing.
“He gets mad at himself. He’s hard on himself a lot. I think I said to him one time, ‘Man, you’re a rookie. You’ll make some mistakes. Just keep going.’ I think guys saw right away what he wanted to do, the control that he had when he was on the field, the poise. It’s been fun so far just watching his growth from training camp all the way to Week 1.”
Jones will make his next start Sunday at MetLife Stadium versus the New York Jets. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET.