Mac Jones nears his sophomore NFL season without the offensive coordinator he won 10 games alongside as a rookie.
But Josh McDaniels, named head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in January, expects the 23-year-old quarterback to navigate through the New England Patriots’ turnover.
“Mac’s a great kid,” McDaniels told reporters during his press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday. “Again, I don’t know the situation, what is or isn’t going on anywhere else, but Mac’s a great kid. He works extremely hard. I was really fortunate to have a chance to coach him. And the people that had touched Mac Jones prior to him coming to New England deserve a tremendous amount of credit.”
Jones led all rookies with 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air to go with a 67.6 completion percentage and a 92.5 passer rating. A total of 13 interceptions were thrown by the Crimson Tide consensus All-American. He converted at least 70 percent of his attempts in seven starts and reached 300 yards twice on the way to a playoff berth.
A spot on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team followed for Jones, who later participated in the Pro Bowl as an alternate for the AFC roster.
“The people that coached him in high school, the people that coached him at Alabama, the parents that raised him — they did a great job with him as a human being,” the 45-year-old McDaniels said. “I’m not sure I’ve been around a more mature, young football player in terms of understanding the game and being able to process it at such a speed and such a level that Mac was. So I don’t have any doubt that Mac’s going to meet the challenge head-on.”
McDaniels’ Raiders staff stands with former Patriots assistant quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree, wide receivers coach Mick Lombardi and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo. And with matchup between the two sides on the horizon in 2022.
“I wish him nothing but the best and I’ll be pulling for him, except when he plays Vegas next year,” added McDaniels.