QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Q: How's your Sunday/Wednesday?
MJ: Good, I think we got a good start and got some good things done. So it was a productive day.
Q: Feel like a regular Wednesday practice? Or did you guys scale it back a little bit?
MJ: Yeah, I think we did. Ran a lot of plays, which was really good. Did some good stuff. Obviously, like you said, it's a Wednesday. So it's just a normal Wednesday for us. That's the schedule we're on. So today was good.
Q: Obviously you learn about an opponent every time you play them. So, what in your three times last year going against Buffalo taught you about the Bills and then watching them on film this year that you could bring to Thursday?
MJ: I think they're playing really good on defense, like they have the past few years. Doing some really good stuff. Definitely added a few things. I've watched them on film obviously, and watched them on crossover film. So they look like a really good defense. Great players at every level, really well coached, attack the football, they rally to the ball, all the things that they've done for a long time. It's a great defense and a big challenge. So we're just going to work and see where we're at.
Q: Rhamondre [Stevenson] mentioned that when their linebackers are covering him in man-to-man or they're in man defense, they're kind of meet him at the line and get a good chuck on him if they can. He has to be more disciplined in his route running as a result of that. Is there anything that changes for you understanding your check down, the timing might be a little bit different because he's not allowed to get into his route?
MJ: Yeah I think I just, it goes back to taking what the defense gives. A lot of times Mondre's done a good job this year in his routes. He's definitely expanded on that. Obviously whenever he has the ball in his hands, he's going to make yards. He's done a good job with that. I think teams that defended him in a different way, some teams put two guys on him, some guys have a funnel play around him, or whatever it is. So he's done a good job. Like I said, for me it's all about my reads and his job is to get open, and he's done that consistently. So really pleased with him. Hopefully we can expand with that, too.
Q: I noticed you're one of the fewer players out there not wearing long sleeves out in the cold practices lately. Is that a new thing? Is that a getting used to the New England weather thing? Is there anything behind that?
MJ: Not really. Just trying to go out there and practice. Today the weather was great, so thought we did some good things. At the end of the day, you can't control the weather, right? It's just something that we have to play through. We've done that here, obviously for a long time. So just trying to buy into that.
Q: The other day Joe Judge said he felt like your preparation was something that really helped you have the type of performance you had the other day. How can you continue to keep that going, especially this week? Last week, of course, shorter week, more condensed, probably the mental side of it was very important. So how do you keep that going Thursday night?
MJ: I think every week's the same in its own manner. Obviously like you said, last week was last week. But we have a full week here. I'm going to prepare the same way I prepare and continue to do those things. Like I said, we know what we're going against. They're the best defense in the league. So we have to be ready for that. It really starts with us, just playing the best football we can. It's a great team that we're going against. It's all about ourselves. But then obviously understanding and respecting the group of players that we're about to go against.
Q: I know you said last week was last week, but is there anything you can take away from that condensed period to help you moving forward? Especially since you had maybe watched more film because it's less actual activity on the field.
MJ: Like I said, I just kind of stick to it. This week's a normal week. So I'll do that. Yeah, I think we did some good stuff last week for a tight, shorter week. That's how it is on Thursday games. Obviously, I've only played in two. So that's my experience with the Thursday games, but definitely learned a lot last year, adjusted some things, or whatever and made sure I was ready to go. Obviously, we watched the film and corrected the things. Now we're excited for this one.
Q: Mac, when you look at these divisional games, you guys see each other so often in the division. How much of it is making sure you have some wrinkles to some of your core plays that you guys might run because they might know they're coming a little bit better?
MJ: Yeah, I think all the defenses that we've played are really smart defenses. Their linebackers are smart, especially in the past couple of games. They're veteran guys and obviously Buffalo has those veteran guys, so they're going to have some tendencies on us and they're going to play really hard like they always do, so it's definitely about us, but that's part of the game. They're going to have wrinkles for us and obviously their offense will have wrinkles and our offense will have wrinkles. Everything kind of builds off of that, but at the end of the day, it's football. It's 11-on-11 and we've got our plays and they have their plays.
Q: Mac, given the last two games against the Bills, how much have you been looking forward to this potential matchup and how much perhaps did it fuel you during the offseason to have this opportunity?
MJ: Yeah, I think it's a great opportunity. Like I said, they're playing as good as anybody in the NFL right now. Last year is last year, but at the same time, we know what happened and we've got to come in here and work and kind of work through it all and go out there and compete. That's what it's all about and then see where we're at. It's a good defense. Like I always say, we're going against their defense, and they provide that challenge better than anybody we've played so far, so hat's off to them. They've done a great job, so we've got to be ready to go.
Q: Mac, I don't think you've faced Tre'Davious White last year in any of those games, do you go back to his film before your first meeting against Buffalo and what did you see from him in his return Thursday?
MJ: Yeah, I think obviously played a decent amount there in his game. He's a great player, he's been a great player for a long time. Just does a great job, transition and all that stuff, ball skills, everything. He's a good player. They have great DBs and all that, so see how much he does, but obviously he's been in there and seems like he's recovered really well and is doing really well.
Q: Mac, in terms of third down efficiency, how is that continuing to be a process or trying to figure that out?
MJ: Yeah, I think you put emphasis on things, and I think that's definitely something we need to improve at. Keep staying on the field and letting our defense get some rest and being able to do that. We have to improve obviously that area. I don't know what teams around the league, or the best teams are doing right now, but you obviously want to be better than what we've been these past couple of games. But, yeah, I think it's also important to realize that it's just plays. You can't overlook the situation, but you have to execute the plays and then the results will come. So regardless if it's first down, second down, third, redzone, backed up, two-minute, it doesn't matter as long as we're doing the right things on that play. Definitely want to improve there and see what we can do better.
Q: You mentioned you're not playing against their offense, but are you playing against the scoreboard at some points where you know what Josh Allen or an elite offense is going to be able to do and you know what you have to do to respond?
MJ: Yeah, I think you have to have a respect for that. You want to play your own game, but understand we have a really good defense too, and they have a great offense. It's always hard, you don't want to look at the scoreboard, but at the same time, you want to win the game and have more points. For me, it's always been trying to focus on stacking up good plays and I know our offense is trying to do that and then the points will come. You can't force it or force a play that's not there. Let those things happen and compete and play with effort and toughness. Obviously, like I said, our defense has done a great job and we've got to play together as a team and once we do that, I think the results will be good.