PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
October 26, 2022
Q: There's a report saying you're starting on Sunday and you're not on the injury list. Can you just give us an update on your status and how you feel as you get ready for this week?
MJ: Yeah, I think it's a big week for the entire team. We had a good practice today, or walkthrough, whatever you want to call it. Making good progress. So we want to just come together as a unit, as an offense really, and just do what we can do to become better, whether that's extra film or speaking together as a unit. I think we're doing really good stuff there. So that's kind of what we're focused on. When Sunday comes, we'll be ready. But this is a really good defense that we're going against. Probably the top defense in the league right now. So we have to be ready to go. A lot of the stuff we want to focus on are things that we're doing and try and get better at that.
Q: You're not on the injury report. So do you feel 100 percent?
MJ: I feel pretty good. I think, like I said, just trying to get my treatment. I've done a good job with that. Just like everybody else, just sticking to my routine and trying to get back into that. Try to just become a better football player. Whatever I can do to do that, just like everybody else on our team, I'm going to do. That just goes with working hard and treatment's part of that, too.
Q: Bill Belichick said 'we'll see how it goes in practice' when we asked him who's going to be the starting quarterback this week. So what did you show him during practice?
MJ: I think, like we said, we have a plan. For me, right now, that's to become a better quarterback individually and a better player. I'm doing everything I can to do that. I just want to prove that every day. That's what I'm going to do. This is a team sport. So sometimes it's hard for me to talk about myself all the time. I want this to be about the great offense that we're trying to form. I think we're making good strides. We want to be better. So we all know that. We want to score more points. We want to do things better. Our coaches are doing a great job. They're working really hard. We've made a lot of progress together. I think being close is never good enough. But I think we're getting there. We just want to fix the things that we can fix and be better.
Q: Do you plan on starting this Sunday?
MJ: I plan to start every game that I've ever played in. So whether that was in peewee football or third string at Alabama, I always try to prepare as a starter. Like I always say, if it's one snap or 70, I'll be ready to go. That's all you can do, right? You can't really control anything else. I work really hard and put myself in position to do that. Yes, I think I deserve that.
Q: Do you feel relief that you're healthy and you're getting there? That's got to feel good for yourself and obviously it will help the team if you're closer to 100 percent.
MJ: I think that's the important thing that you said is helping the team. That goes with playing better. Obviously, you don't get any credit for having injuries and playing through it. That's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking to play and help the team. A lot of guys, it's the NFL, you're going to be a little bit banged up and you're going to play through things. There's guys on our team that are playing through stuff. So we're all just trying to work together, put our best foot forward, play the game that we love and play it better than we have in the past.
Q: Is there a plan for you to come out early in the game against the Jets like there may have been against Chicago?
MJ: I think we always have a plan and when coach wants to talk about that, we'll talk about it. But all I can focus on right now is the practice we had today, talking with the guys and fixing the things to, like I said, play against a defense that's the top in the league. We have to be ready to go. So when that comes, that'll come. But everybody on our team's preparing. We want to prepare even harder and be ready to go.
Q: We've seen you throw the ball down the field, on average, significantly more than last year from a statistical perspective. Coach [Matt] Patricia had said that might be something in the offseason that you guys tried to emphasis as well. I'm sure that was in consultation with you as something as maybe you would like to do more. Is that a factor?
MJ: I think the good offenses, they have all three types of passes: short, medium, and long. We want to be to able to do that. We have a great offensive line. Obviously, you want to have all different types of plays that you can run. We've worked on different things. It's all about finding what we're comfortable with, what works, gets yards and ultimately scores points. So just trying to work through that and get there. They've done a great job of explaining things, showing clips and things like that. So they've been very fun to learn from Coach Patricia, obviously Joe Judge and Coach Belichick. So they provide great insight. I've learned a lot, and I'm going to continue to learn from them and the guys on our team who may have run those plays in the past or have familiarity with stuff like that.
Q: That report by ESPN a couple of hours ago indicates that you will start. Have you been told directly that you will start this Sunday?
MJ: What report are you talking about?
Q: There was a report by ESPN's Field Yates saying that you'll start this week, and you took 90 percent of the snaps today at practice. Have you been told directly that you'll start this Sunday?
MJ: I think obviously we don't really talk about that. Like I said, we're going to go do the week of practice and then Coach Belichick, just like every other week, he's going to tell you what you're doing and how you have to play the game and what we have to do to win. He's done a good job being very open with me and I think that's the important part. That's all you can ask for, right? Is just clear communication and going out there and putting all the other 'rat poison' away, playing as best I can play and become the best quarterback that I can be.
Q: So, you haven't been told that you're going to be starting this Sunday?
MJ: Like I said, those are things we want to work through as the week goes along. I don't really care whether they tell me or not. I think it's important that I'm ready to go, just like [Bailey] Zappe's ready to go, Garrett's [Gilbert] ready to go. It's the same way every week. You want to prepare as a starter and when it's your chance to go out there and play, you want to go out there and play really well.
Q: What changes for you if David [Andrew] isn't able to go this weekend?
MJ: I think David's a really great leader on our team and has been for a long time. Obviously, want him to be healthy, and we'll see where he's at. He provides that leadership aspect for not only the offensive line, but the whole offense and that's something that a lot of guys are going to have to step up, including myself, and take that as he's getting better. We'll see where he's at.
Q: Hey Mac, with more down field throws, sometimes with more risks, comes with more picks. I think from the outside looking in, a lot of us are realizing 'well it's going to happen, they're throwing down field more. It's natural that the numbers are going to rise in that department.' How do you look at it?
MJ: I think that they're all part of the game. Interceptions and things like that. You can't really look at what you're doing. You just kind of have to look at it through a straw and say, 'alright, on this play, this is what I'm supposed to do, and I'm going to try and execute that.' Obviously, I need to do a better job of that on a lot of plays. Whether that's throwing the ball away or just surviving the play really. But we want to have those explosive plays. Like I said, short, medium, long, it doesn't really matter. We want to move the ball down the field and yes, those by percentage, those throws might not be as high, but I think we have really good skill players that can go make those plays. That's something that is good to know that we have and that you can trust them to go do that.