PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
October 4, 2023
Q: I hear you say on the radio Monday that moving the ball is job security. Is that something that you use as a motivational tactic, job security?
MJ: I think the biggest thing for me is take care of the football, go through my reads. You know, what's the play? What's the intention of the play? That's all I can do as the quarterback, and I feel like the guys are doing a good job. So, I just have to get the ball out to them and let them make plays.
Q: Mac, Bill O'Brien yesterday told us that some of the decisions that you made were very uncharacteristic. So, I am wondering, as you were watching the game film from the Dallas game, did you recognize that quarterback?
MJ: The biggest thing is moving from it and learning from it. Like I said, the play-by-play basis is important. What am I supposed to do on the play? What's my read? What's the intention of the play? If I follow that, usually 90 percent of the time it's pretty good.
Q: Coach O'Brien also said that you came into this week with some ideas of how to improve your decision making. What's an example of something that you're working on to move on from that?
MJ: When you look at it, it's just what I talked about. It's what is the intention of the play, kind of what the read of it, where are my eyes and then usually that will take care of it. And, try not to do anything crazy, just stay within the frame of the offense. That's what I've always done. I didn't do that the last game and I have a chance to do that again here soon.
Q: So, it's more film work basically?
MJ: Not really. I think just stick to my routine. Biggest thing, like I said, is identify what play we're running. It could be a run, it could be a handoff, what's my job on that play? I can't focus on really anything else. I've always been good when I do that and when I don't, I'm not as good. So, just have to focus on that.
Q: Mac, what are your recollections of going against J.C. Jackson in practice?
MJ: Yeah, J.C. is a great player. Obviously, he taught me a lot my rookie year. Just aggressive, there's a lot of corners that play like him, but he's very unique. He's fast, aggressive, he has a very good knack for the ball. So, yeah, he's a really good player.
Q: You could be getting Tyquan Thornton back soon, what will he add to your offense?
MJ: Yeah, Tyquan – we obviously had a lot of reps together in the offseason and stuff like that, he works really hard. So, you obviously love to have a guy like that out there and we have plenty of guys out there who can make plays. So, happy to have him back, hopefully sometime soon.
Q: What do you see from the New Orleans defense?
MJ: A good defense. Obviously, Dennis [Allen], he does a great job. They're very sound everywhere across the board. They've got experienced players on all three levels and like I said, it kind of starts with us. What can we do better and what can I do better? That's just focus on each play. What's the design of the play? If it's a run, hand it off, if it's a pass, throw it, if it's RPO, read it out. That's kind of the main thing I'm focusing on. But, they definitely have talent. They have great coaching and really just a good defense.
Q: Coming off a poor performance, how much confidence do you have in yourself entering this game?
MJ: Confidence is something that comes from years of practice, and it grows over time. I think that's what I have to look back on, is I've played well at times and I just have got to be more consistent. I know it's there. Like I said, just focus on my job, play-by-play, take the emotion out of it and go out there and try and distribute the ball to the right people.
Q: You've said a lot of the same things you said a couple of weeks ago, that you have to identity the play, what it is.. What causes you to stop doing that? …
MJ: I think the biggest thing is to take it play-by-play. Each play has a life of it's own. You play it one play at a time, and that's when you can stack plays up really well, including if you have to throw the ball away, throw it away. So, there's a lot of things that go into it. The most important thing that I've noticed is just sticking to my process, trying to identify 'what are maybe one or two things I can do pre-snap, and trying to play fast and play free.
Q: What has the support been like from your team towards you after Sunday's game?
MJ: Good. Yeah, I think the biggest thing for me is just improving. Every week in the NFL you have to improve, regardless of what year you are, and every week's a new week. I'm excited to get to practice and just keep working.
Q: How do you sharpen mechanics, stay tuned to your fundamentals – Bill [O'Brien] talked about footwork yesterday, going back to the basics. During the game week, when you're preparing for the next game, is that something you do after practice, in-practice? How do you address that?
MJ: For me, it's always trying to add it in, whether it's after my workouts or whatever on the field, to definitely hit it every day, but really just try to do more and be consistent. Like, one day, you can't miss footwork drills or whatnot. So, we've talked about it, and things that we can do better. Just, getting the reps of the footwork and the timing, and applying it to the game is the important part.
Q: Matthew Slater spoke after Friday's practice, the week before the Jets game, just about urgency, kind of the decision ' Hey, we don't want to be 0-3, let's decide to be 1-2'. Now at 1-3, heading into Sunday, do you feel that kind of urgency? What is your view as it relates to what Matthew was speaking of two weeks ago?
MJ: Yeah, every week's a new week and the goal is to go 1-0. We've been in this situation a few times here since I've been here, and all you can focus on is the process and doing your part. Once everybody does that, I know it's hard to say, but once you do that and all 11 guys do it, including myself, then the product will be a lot better.
Q: This offense, under Coach O'Brien, what do you like about it from a quarterback's perspective?
MJ: Yeah, it puts everything on your plate, and that's the exciting part. When you use it to your advantage, it can really help you, and when you don't, it hurts you. So, I have to make sure that I do a better job. He's doing all the right things, and as the quarterback, I'm going to continue to grow with him, and I'm really excited to grow, really. At this point, we haven't put up as many points as we'd like, but we have plenty of opportunities to do that and it starts today in practice.