QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Q: You mentioned this offense is still a work in progress. What areas of your game specifically did you work on during the bye week?
MJ: I think a lot of us are working on different things every day and the bye week's a great time to do that. So for me, just making sure my feet and eyes are in the right place, continue to go through my reads, continue to improve in the weight room, nutrition, all that stuff. So it's a full audit of yourself, I guess you can call it. Kind of look at yourself and see what you can do better.
Q: Is pocket presence in terms of making the reads, moving on to the ball, running, when to step up, part of something that a quarterback has to have instinctively? Or can that be taught and learned?
MJ: Yeah, you can learn it. I think there's drills that will help anybody that needs that. Obviously, every quarterback, you do have a timer in your head. So you want to make sure that your drop matches up with the play, your eyes, all that stuff. So that's something that you're constantly trying to work through. Obviously in different offenses that applies in different ways. But you always want to have your feet, kind of on that clock in your head matching up at the same time. Then from there, you kind of feel everything else. It's second nature. Hard focused on the stuff downfield and a soft focus on the rush.
Q: What's the biggest challenge of the three games in the 12-day span?
MJ: I mean I think it's great. It's a great challenge. We obviously have a great opponent this week in the Jets. They're playing as best football as anybody in the league right now. So excited for this one and kind of go from there. Like you said, there's a lot of games coming up. This a great time to make a good push.
Q: Would you say you're encouraged by some of the fixes or adjustments the coaching staff made during the bye week?
MJ: Yeah. I think every staff around the league, at any league, they're working through things during the bye week. You obviously have your identity in what you want to be and how you can get there. There's some things you can improve during the bye week. So we want to continue to improve every week. Then obviously in the bye week too. But now it's kind of focused on the Jets and how can we get ready for this game. So definitely good to do that and look at yourself, like we talked about earlier, and then obviously as a team and as an offense, defense, special teams. You get a chance to kind of do that audit.
Q: Is that identity changed at all for you guys? Now, or during the bye versus before the season started? You guys know a lot more about yourselves, maybe what you do well. Is the identity piece of it changed much for you guys?
MJ: I think it's constantly trying to find that identity. Every offense is going to find that through the year. It's going to be defined through the year. We have to work through that. At the end of the day, we know what we want to do. We need to score more points and eliminate the turnovers and negative plays. That's kind of where we're at. From there, we just grow together, coaches, players, everybody. So I feel like we have good effort, energy and all that stuff. So we're kind of controlling those things. Then the results are going to come here soon.
Q: It seems like the Jets last time out kind of their system is to start in that two high safety, and then either stay in it or rotate. That seems to be getting more popular league wide. Just as a quarterback, what's sort of challenging about that sort of system?
MJ: I think it's a great system. There's not a lot of flaws. They know exactly where their weaknesses are and things like that. There's not many weaknesses with this defense. So they're obviously doing, like you said, different twists to it, I guess. But yeah, they have a good front, and they rotate those guys. Everything starts with the front. They have good players all around. So we just have to – they can do whatever they want to do. Just because we play them, they can still come out and do different things and we can too. That's football and that's the cool part about the NFL. When you play somebody twice it's just a chance to go out there and compete, follow your rules and stick to your training.
Q: How often do you guys come off the field and while you're playing good teams who have good plans, if things don't go your way you're saying 'well it's kind of more us.' Whether it be penalties or something. Is it more than 50 percent you're saying, 'that's us. We could have done it better?'
MJ: Yeah, I don't know if I have a percentage. Definitely that feel, where it's like, 'alright we're really going to have the penalties, the negative plays and the turnovers again.' So definitely trying to control those things. That starts in practice. It's just habit. We're working through that, getting better. Definitely seeing progress there which is great. Then we just have to apply it to the game. Every game is different, right? It's sometimes a smooth sail and sometimes you have to battle it out and figure out how to win. So that's kind of the NFL. When you watch games around the league, the teams that just figure out how to win, whether it's the turnovers, penalties, they just find a way, and that's the important part is just winning.
Q: So, I mean just avoid being your own worst enemy, because you already have another team to play on the other side?
MJ: I mean yeah, I think that's everybody's MO or whatever. You want to be able to compete against yourself and obviously, competing against another team is hard too, but you want to be able to do well in those situations. It's kind of a full picture.
Q: Mac, obviously every quarterback would want to live in a world without pressure, but when those plays happen, kind of interfere with the clock like you mentioned in any given play, how would you access your reaction or your play within pressure so far this year?
MJ: Yeah, I think we've done a good job in the offensive line. I think we have a good group of guys that are kind of molding together here. For me, it's just keeping my eyes down field and step up in the pocket and do all that stuff. Like I said, it depends on the play, what I'm looking at and things like that. The offensive line is doing a good job and I just need to continue to work on that and get the ball to everybody else because that's when we start getting yards.
Q: Mac, as you look for your identity and you continue to do that and find it, do you feel like this was a good time, you had talked about it a little bit going in, to kind of reset yourself physically and mentally and your offense?
MJ: Yeah, I think in the bye week, like I said, just working through those things. Everybody is working on individual stuff and then as a team, as an offense, special teams, defense, we're kind of on the Jets here and kind of applying those things as best we can, but at the end of the day, it's all about Sunday and how you apply that product onto the field. We want to be able to do that and we understand that this is a team that's playing the best in the NFL right now, so it starts with us, but we also have to respect our opponent and they're a really good team.
Q: Being able to get David [Andrews] back, outside of the things that we see, what are some of the other things that David brings to the table, especially for you as a quarterback?
MJ: Yeah, I think David's [Andrews] a great leader on our team. He's played against a lot of different defenses, played on some really good teams, so he provides that positive energy and obviously is a great football player, but it's a lot of the other things too. He's kind of the bell cow of that whole deal. He does a great job, really happy with him and everybody else too. They're doing a really good job just trying to work together and get better at individual techniques. That's what I even noticed today, is just the little things that guys are trying to work through and all that is really important.
Q: How much better does the ankle feel that you didn't have to play a game last week?
MJ: Yeah, I think it was good for everybody. I think in the NFL, obviously when you get your bye week, you get a chance to rest your body, your mind, whatever it is. So yeah, for me that definitely helped. Other guys are dealing with other stuff, so they got the rest they needed, so we're excited for this one.
Q: Are you going to be doing 360 dunks now?
MJ: We'll see.
Q: Mac, you mentioned the self-audit a few times, is there anything you found over the bye that kind of stood out to you?
MJ: Yeah, I think a lot of things are personal to me and things that I want to keep to myself, but a lot of things that I can improve, just like I said, footwork, timing, eyes, all that stuff. Which I'm trying to improve that every week regardless and definitely put an extra emphasis on it, trying to matchup everything. Felt good about the progress we made and just got to apply it, like I said, on Sunday.
Q: Is there a big difference in the timing and the footwork and how the routes develop for you guys this year versus last year? Has there been a big change this year?
MJ: I wouldn't make comparisons. Just two different offenses and different coaches, different players. We're doing some similar things, which is really good, and every offense is different, right? You watch another team, their quarterbacks' feet might be a little different than where it matches up with us. It's just specific to us and I think we're really doing a good job there for the most part and practice is where it starts, like I said, the only way you can tell is through full speed reps. We've gotten a lot of those, obviously in training camp and in the spring too, so just going back on those reps that we've had and making sure that everything times up.