PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
November 10, 2023
Q: I know that you're really big on routine, about six hours was eliminated from your week with the time change alone. How did you adjust for that and how is that adjustment going?
MJ: Yeah, I think for me, it was just getting onto Germany time early in the week and then just bump everything up. Make sure that I'm getting everything throughout the week. Had a good practice today. So, just have to carry that over, get recovery, hydrate, do all the right things and then we'll be ready for Sunday.
Q: Getting on Germany time, what does that entail?
MJ: I went to bed just really early. I bumped everything up, like I talked about. Hopefully, that'll helps us in the long run.
Q: With this type of trip, what can it do for the team in terms of bonding and maybe just a good type of distraction?
MJ: I think the biggest thing is that it is a good team bonding experience and to be in another country and spread the game of football and do it together is very important. We have a lot of good guys on this team. A lot of veteran players and a lot of young players, too. It's a great experience for everybody and we all know what we came here to do and that's the focus. Do our job and win the game. It's football at the end of the day. I always say that it's 100 yards and 53 1/3 wide. The field stays the same, we're just in a different location.
Q: The offensive line is improving week-by-week, how do you feel inside the pocket now?
MJ: Good. That's a great point. They're doing a good job up there. I need to sit in there, go through my reads and execute the offense. They've done a great job in recent weeks and they're improving every week along with the skill players, the receivers, tight ends and running backs. We're all in it together. It takes 11 people and it's very important as the quarterback to make sure that we're all on the same page.
Q: Since it's the first game for you overseas, did you talk to veteran players on how they dealt with all the travel logistics?
MJ: Yeah, for sure. Obviously, you talk to people and see what they did. Obviously, the Patriots have played in London and things like that. I think it's important to take the information and, like I talked about earlier, focus on doing your part, doing your job, sticking to your routine as best as you can and just being ready to go on Sunday when the game comes.
Q: Just speaking of team bonding, for a trip like this obviously there is a lot of down time. Do you have anything special planned with other offensive players or anything as a team leader in the next few days?
MJ: I think the biggest thing, like we said, we had a good practice today, so it starts there. Long flight then a good practice. Really just staying up and making sure we stay, like I say, German time, and try to stay on our routine. Yeah, if we have time for that, I'm sure we'll do something. But, not planning on doing anything crazy. We are trying to win a football game.
Q: Your offense seems to struggle this year. How would you rate your own personal performance and the season so far?
MJ: Yeah, I try look at it each week and focus on the gameplan for the week. It's a really tough business. It's the NFL, there is a lot of good defenses our there. For us, we've got to make sure we know what the gameplan is for this week and that focusing on where we are, we've got to be where our feet are, is what I always say. Focus on, is it a pass? Is it a run? What's my job? How can I do it really well? And then make sure that everyone around us is communicating, you know, upfront with the receivers, it takes all 11. So, that's very important and I feel like we've actually made progress there, we just need to finish these games.
Q: We had a laughing, smiling, almost giddy Bill [Belichick] here with us this morning. Have you seen any of that in your own time since you guys have landed?
MJ: Yeah, a little bit. I think he's definitely happy to be here and sounds like he's having a good time with you guys. We're all excited to be here and it's a very unique experience for the game of football, for Germany, the United States and everybody. It's really cool.
Q: We hear from you and a lot of the other guys that the ultimate joy is in the winning, which obviously we'll have to wait until Sunday when you guys play, but will you allow yourself any kind of joy in the next couple of days, just with this experience and understanding it's a rare and unique opportunity being here in Germany?
MJ: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I told the guys, 'who would've thought?', when you're little that you'd be playing in a game internationally in the NFL. It's pretty cool. So, like I said, just try to be where your feet are. Try not to focus on anything else besides playing the game that we've played since we were little. That's very important and we're looking forward to putting on a good show.
Q: Nice to see the mood from Americans – you are so nice. The question is, do you think a win this week and the bye week can be a reset for the team?
MJ: Absolutely, yeah. I always talk about try not to focus on the results, but there can be great momentum in this game. It's a momentum game, within each game and within game to game. I'm looking forward to going out there and competing and trying to get a win on the board. Like you said, get into the bye week and focus on building momentum.
Q: I've heard the word struggle mentioned, but you spoke about execution. I think it's worth highlighting you're actually 10th among quarterbacks in passes completed over 20 yards. I think – well, you can give your own assessment as well – but 2-7, obviously, people look at that, but I think there's obviously been a lot of injuries with the o-line and the receivers. Getting a bit healthier now, how do you look at the second half of the season, and is there a point where you're like 'right, we're getting healthier now, maybe I can air it out some more, and how do you assess these remaining games?'
MJ: That's a great question. I think, like you said, every week is a different game plan. There're different people playing sometimes because of injury, and that's every team. The biggest thing is how can I execute the game plan? I always say take what the defense gives. So, if they give you that, the deeper throw, then take it. If you've got time, then you've got to take it, and I can do a better job with that. At the same time, you can't force, right? You can't press. You have to read the play for what it is based on that play. That's a great question, and I think there are offenses around the league that you see that do that a lot, and some of them are more run the ball, do this and that. So, it really depends on the day and game plan and team, really.
Q: Do you feel like your deep passing has developed more this season? Obviously, different coordinators, now, going from Josh [McDaniels] to Bill [O'Brien]. Obviously, I feel like last season, maybe there was some frustration amongst fans, going from iso to screen and see where you're at on third down. Do you feel that maybe this year you've developed, and that confidence is there, so like you said, if you see a read downfield, you say 'right, I'm more capable of making that throw."
MJ: Yeah, it sounds like you've got offensive coordinator in your future – iso, draws, I love it. For that question, like I say, each year is different. I actually threw the ball pretty good last year deep, statistically, and there were some things that were good there. I want to do that every year. I like throwing the ball deep. I did it in college a lot, and I had a lot of success. It's definitely in my blood and I want to do that, so got to improve there and make it work.
Q: Maybe we'll call plays together sometime in the future.
MJ: Heck yeah, sounds good.
Q: Your job brings so much pressure with it, especially losing is really hard, do you use any kind of help, like a mental coach or something? Because, I know, other quarterbacks search for help?
MJ: Yeah, I have a few people that I trusted since I've been little, and I've worked with them. At the end of the day, it's all about trust and communication. That's a great point. People see a lot of the good, but there's also things that are not so good, and it's hard when you're under a magnifying glass all the time. There's a lot of things I've improved on, and there's a lot of things I need to continue to work on. So, definitely have great people in my circle, and I have a lot of trust in those people. I think a lot of elite athletes do that, right, around the world, and make sure that their mental game is good, too.
Q: How much impact in the last three years have veterans like [Matthew] Slater had?
MJ: Yeah, I mean, he's been great. Slater's awesome, learned a lot from him – how to work, how to be consistent. He's probably the most consistent person I've ever seen. David [Andrews] and [Ja'Whaun] Bentley and [Matthew] Judon, and all those guys, I've learned so much from each guy, and learned different things and really try to apply them as much as I can while staying myself. That's a great point. There's great leaders on this team that have won a lot of football games, and we also have a lot of young guys. Trying to take their example and spread that is very important.