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Mac Jones on Josh McDaniels leaving the Patriots: ‘We’ll just have to figure out a game plan’

Related: What the Patriots will need from their next offensive coordinator

Mac Jones is the New Patriots Quarterback Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

For the third time in three years as a starting quarterback, Mac Jones will have to work with a new offensive coordinator.

After playing under Steve Sarkisian in his final season at the University of Alabama, Jones joined the New England Patriots and OC/QB coach Josh McDaniels last spring. With McDaniels leaving for the Las Vegas Raiders last month, however, the Patriots will need to add a new offensive coordinator.

Speaking with ESPN ahead of the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, Jones shared his thoughts on McDaniels’ departure.

“I think Josh is not only a great coach but a great person. He means a lot to the Patriot organization and obviously he got a great opportunity here,” he said. “He taught me a lot about football, a lot about life, a lot about the NFL. That’s really important to me. I know he means a lot to a lot of people and I’m happy for him and his family.

“We’ll just have to figure out a game plan and move forward and try and be explosive on offense and can get something going again like we did with Josh.”

The Patriots have yet to name a new offensive coordinator. Sarkisian’s successor at Alabama, former New England assistant coach Bill O’Brien, is seen as a top candidate even though there are questions about him pursuing an NFL job at the moment. Other names to watch include former Miami and New York head coach Adam Gase or tight ends coach Nick Caley.

Either way, the 2022 offseason will look different for the Patriots’ young starting quarterback.

Losing McDaniels is only part of it, however. As Jones pointed out, he is also eying some “big changes” heading into his second year in the league.

“I think this offseason will be a big part of it, just getting stronger and cleaning up on my diet and all that,” Jones said “There’s a lot that’s going to go into it before next season even starts, so that’s the important part: attacking that, and then hopefully a lot of big changes will come, whether it’s mechanics or the playbook. I have a lot of time now to kind of digest everything and kind of take it over how I want to do it.”

Jones is coming off a successful first season with the Patriots. Selected 15th overall in the draft, the Alabama product started all 18 of the team’s games and completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,033 yards, 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.