Mac Jones already left no doubt about his status as the New England Patriots’ quarterback of the future last year. After beating out incumbent Cam Newton over the summer and earning the starting role, he went on to produce one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory while leading the team back to the playoffs.
Obviously, though, there is still plenty of room for improvement heading into his second campaign in the Patriots’ system. It seems as if Jones agrees: by all accounts, the 23-year-old is putting in the work this offseason to put himself in the best possible position to make the famous second-year jump.
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, this dedication has left the Patriots very much impressed:
This shouldn’t be very surprising, but the Patriots sound ecstatic with quarterback Mac Jones’ offseason dedication. Jones has spent long hours at Gillette Stadium, often beating the coaching staff into the building to get a jump-start on film study for the day. He is also taking ownership of the offense, willing to vouch for plays and concepts that he likes and pump the brakes on the stuff that hasn’t worked.
A first-round pick in last year’s draft, Jones started all 18 of the Patriots’ games during his rookie season. Completing 67.3 percent of his pass attempts for 4,033 yards, 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, he did have plenty of ups but also his fair share of downs.
Nonetheless, the Alabama product was clearly the top rookie quarterback in the NFL while also showing some solid chemistry with players such as Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry. Now it’s all about building on that foundation and Jones is seemingly taking the old “no days off” approach to doing it.
He has been an active participant in New England’s voluntary offseason workout program since its beginning in mid-April, and before that was part of a player-organized throwing session in Florida — one that featured Meyers, Bourne and fellow wide receivers Nelson Agholor and DeVante Parker.
“Just figure out ways to become a better quarterback, and then do whatever we can to put more points up on the board so we can win more games,” Jones said about his offseason goals back in February.
Jones’ improvement in 2022 will be critical for the Patriots and their offense. Not only are they invested in building their team around him, they also lost a significant portion of their coaching staff on this side of the ball — including coordinator Josh McDaniels — and will need the young passer to help take on a more active role in the entire process.
So far, though, it seems Jones is doing just that.