PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
November 9, 2022
Q: What are the easiest ways to measure improvement statistically? Obviously, this year statistically a lot of the offensive stuff is down. How do you personally evaluate things that you're improving in, in 2022?
MJ: Yeah, I think obviously everybody wants to improve as a player, every season you play football at whatever level it is. Wherever you start the season, you want to finish better. Obviously, you get a chance to evaluate halfway through the year usually or whenever your bye week is. Obviously, there's individual things you want to improve, fundamentals, technique. You can look at statistics, but a lot of times there's some false realities there. But that's also stuff that you can look at, 'hey, for team stuff, how many times are we doing this, running the ball, play action, screen?' So, there's a lot of things that coaches are looking at. Every team does that I'm sure, in some capacity. At the end of the day, like I said, if each individual player gets better, then we can kind of put that together as a team, and obviously as an offense and then kind of kick start the back half of the year here.
Q: Are there any things that you can look at and say, 'you know what, it might not be showing up in the numbers and I know I missed three weeks, but I think I'm better now than I was in July,' at this?
MJ: Yeah, I think there's a lot of things, like I said.
Q: Give me one.
MJ: I mean I think, like I said, there's a lot of things that we're working through, and that's part of the game. You can look at yourself in July and then look at yourself at the end of the year, is how you should really do it and see where you're at. Each week you want to access what you can do better, whether that's your footwork, your accuracy, your placement for receivers catching and running. Those are all things that I feel like we've gotten better at as the year went on. It's all about communication. We've definitely improved in that part of it, the communication, which is the most important piece. Once you do that, then you get the consistency, then you get the product that we want to put out on the field. Definitely working through that and the more we talk together, the more that we all see it as the same, then the better off we'll be.
Q: Mac, do you feel like this is a good time for that part right there, the communication? Kind of breath a little bit, step back, look and access what we do well, what we don't do well, what we need to do better?
MJ: Yeah, I think a lot of that, like I said, is obviously the coach's job. Every team is evaluating, whether that's defense, special teams or offense. As a player, it's what can I do better to help the team? Obviously, like you said, the communication is great. I think we got some time just to look at some of our base stuff and say, 'hey, this is how I see it and let's try it like this today at practice,' and we did some good stuff at practice, just to see how it looks. Obviously, that's the whole point of the bye week, right? To get your practice in and then kind of get away from the game and get ready for a really good team next week.
Q: Do you still see this offense as a work in progress or have you guys found an identity offensively?
MJ: Yeah, I think every offense and every team is still going to be a work in progress. At any level you're constantly trying to get better, right? Unless you're winning the championship, you're not satisfied, right? So, everybody's working. We're all trying to just focus on today and get better, get better as a team. Obviously as an offense, we want to score more points, no more turnovers and all that. We can control those things and if we can control it, then we need to take control of it. That's one of the big things. There's things that are out of your control and there's things that you're in control of. So just trying to focus on those things.
Q: You talked about false reads, and I think Bill said this week, on one of his radio interviews that he thinks one of your strengths is how you see the field. When you compare what you're looking at on the tablet in a game and when you go back and watch the film, how do you feel you're seeing the field?
MJ: Good. I try to grade myself as an individual, that's coaches too. But I always go through and see, 'alright, what happened on this play? Where are my feet? Where are my eyes?' As a quarterback, everything has to tie up. If it doesn't tie up, you'll never see everything. You don't have enough time in the National Football League. We have a great offensive line. We're working on the spacing and all those things, and that's something that we need to improve on. Me finding the open guy and start with my read, but also move through quicker and all of that stuff too. It's a bunch of different things, but you can't see everybody on every play. That's every level of football. You got to kind of start somewhere and trust what other teams do. You can always go back and look at other teams and other offenses throughout the years of how they read certain plays. That's kind of how it works, whether that was at Alabama or last year here. Now obviously doing those things, it's 'how can I put my eyes in the right spot to get the people the ball?'
Q: If you start over here, how often are you ever going to be able to get over here? [motioned with hands from one side to the other]
MJ: I mean, it just depends on the play, right? There's different types of plays. But like I said, you can always look at it, try and just see how you can be better.
Q: You mentioned on the radio earlier this week that you watched a bunch of other games to try to look at different things and things like that, what are those conversations like when you come in and say, 'hey, this was pretty cool,' or 'they did this and this looked neat,' or whatever?
MJ: Yeah, it's great. I think, obviously, a lot of it's self-learning. What did this team do to attack this defense? Or what is this quarterback doing really well? Or how are they getting easy yards? And things like that. Obviously, we have a lot of core stuff that we're trying to work through and that's been great. I think they're very receptive, with our coaching staff. They watch all the games too probably, so they already see a lot of the plays. At the end of the day, we have our core stuff and we need to execute better as players. That's what it's all about. When we look at tape, when we do things correctly, it's a good play and when we don't, it's a bad play. We're trying to get more on the right side here with the good plays.
Q: Is it realistic to add more during the bye week here to what you guys have? You mentioned your core plays, can you guys add to what you do?
MJ: Yeah, I think every defense and offense and special teams is going to do an evaluation, but I feel like we, like I said, it comes down to our execution and that's what we need to do is just go out there and do it a little better, no matter what's called, and we've done a good job of putting ourselves in a good position. It's just, like I said, if I don't do my reads right or someone misses a route or protection, it'll never work out. That's just football and that's how it is.
Q: The reason I ask is just because a lots been made of, in the Indy game, Bill mentioned and even during the Jets game too, it seemed like some of the players on defense knew what you guys were going to do and I know there was a big emphasis in the offseason to sort of stream line things and simplify things, but I wonder if there's any chance you guys have simplified things to the point where things are becoming decipherable for other teams?
MJ: I think, like I always say, in the NFL, there's good players everywhere. We watch film, we sometimes know what teams are doing, sometimes we don't. I think people just watch a lot of film and there's good players out there, so you just have to give credit where credit's due. Obviously, we want to fix anything that we're giving away, but at the end of the day, we've got plenty and we just need to do better.
Q: Do you have the ability to change things up when you hear them calling that out? Can you make a last-minute change?
MJ: It just depends. Sometimes you can't hear, I mean you can't hear everything, right? Obviously, if you hear it, you can try to change it and fix it and make it a better play, but like I said, there's good players all over the place, so you just kind of have to go with the punches.