With new voices in Mac Jones’ ear, it’s no question things will look slightly different on the offensive side of the ball for the New England Patriots this season. How different they will in fact look is still to be seen, but what is certain is that the entire unit hopes to play faster.
“We have a long way to go, but we are doing a lot of good things schematically to get up there and snap the ball a lot quicker,” Jones said following Wednesday’s practice. “It doesn’t really matter what I’m doing. If we can do it quickly and put stress on the defense, it makes everything harder. I think the idea and what we are trying to get to is there.”
While scheme and new player makers such as speedster Tyquan Thornton will certainly help, the offense’s pace between snaps, as Mac Jones mentioned, stood out on the practice fields at Gillette Stadium Wednesday.
“A lot of the adjustments we made to come off the ball faster,” wide receiver Kendrick Bourne added. “Just to get a head start off the ball is huge. It just feels faster. More speed. More urgency.”
Much has been made about the Patriots’ “streamlined” and “simplified” offense this offseason. With Bill Belichick, Joe Judge, and Matt Patricia now leading the system, that approach is front and center.
“[The offense] is definitely simplified,” offensive tackle Trent Brown said Wednesday. “I feel like it’ll make it able for the playmakers to play faster and it will allow us up front to play faster as well.”
While the faster approach is known, who will be calling those plays is to be determined as of yet. On Wednesday, it was Matt Patricia handling those duties using a walkie-talkie to send in plays to Mac Jones.
“Plays are plays. Regardless of who’s telling you what the play is, you just listen to the formation and all that stuff and execute the play. There’s a rhythm to it, and they all have a good rhythm,” the second-year quarterback said.
No matter who is calling the plays come Week 1, though, Jones has been a fan of learning from all three coaches as they work together on the new offensive approach.
“You want to listen to the good coaching that you can get from three coaches who have all been head coaches,” he explained. “They’ve seen a ton, a ton of football. That's what I'm just trying to take in, what is something that each one of them says in a meeting that I can take with me — whether that's about life or football — and apply it to the game.”