QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
December 15, 2022
Q: Getting to be in Arizona, what's it been like?
MJ: Good. Yeah, it's great. I think the connection here with Tyler Owens, he's our head strength coach who was at Alabama, some of their assistants. Kind of cool to see those guys and what they're building here. I really appreciate, and we really appreciate them letting us use their facility. It's a really nice school.
Q: I wanted to ask you about working with Marcus Jones on offense and I think Coach [Matt] Patricia said he doesn't practice on offense a ton during the week, but what's it been like just having him integrated and getting to use him on the offensive side of the ball?
MJ: Yeah, he's a smart football player. Does a great job on defense, obviously we see that and clearly on special teams. He's an all-around Swiss army knife type player and working with him, he's done a good job. He lines up in the right spot, knows what to do and he cares. So that's the biggest three things. Everything else will take care of itself, the plays and all that. He's doing a really good job.
Q: How nice is it being a quarterback to have a guy like that is thrown a screen and can take it 50 yards to the house?
MJ: Yeah, I think he's super dynamic. We've got a lot of guys like that, which is good. Fast, quick twitch, guys like that. So we have that in our skill positions and it's all about just making sure we finish those plays and get those explosives.
Q: Matthew Slater said yesterday that he and some of the other veterans have been encouraging you throughout the course of this year to speak up more than you do already. How much do you feel like you've grown in that regard?
MJ: Yeah, I think that's important. I think after practice is always a good time to relay a message. It's not every day with the team, but with the offense for sure. Just trying to work through some things and evaluate our day. Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's bad. So you've got to learn from either situation and have a message that, 'what does it take to win, what does take, what do we need to do, what are the big bullet points here to kind of put up a good product on the field?' Just talking through it and obviously, during film and stuff like that too. Everybody's talking, everybody's working together. It's my job as a quarterback to make sure that by the end of the week, no matter what happens, that it's situated, and everything looks good and we're ready to go.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
MJ: I think I always try to lead by example, just by working hard. Always try to do more, that's all you can do and hopefully people see that. I know that they do, but I'm not a super, super talkative person, but I do like to be around my teammates and get a message across. But at the end of the day, it's more about just enjoying the game and having fun, which you've got to try to do no matter what. Practice is sometimes you have good, sometimes it's bad. So like I said, you work through that and lead either way. It doesn't matter if you're up or down. So just try to lead and stay consistent and all that.
Q: Mac, when you look at the problems that the Raiders pose defensively, how much does it just start with [Chandler] Jones and Max Crosby?
MJ: Yeah, I think they have a great defensive line. They've got great players everywhere, great scheme, do a lot of different things, they have a big library to pick from, just depends on what they want to choose. They've got great edge rushers, so respect to those guys. It's going to be a big challenge for us up front. At the end of the day, we got a chance to practice against them and all that. So we saw them, and we knew they were a really good defense. Just a great overall group and great coaching staff.
Q: Have you been asked what this trip has been like for the team in terms of being in Arizona, staying here and if not, how has it been?
MJ: Yeah, it's been good. A little bit chilly, but we're kind of used to it. It's been good though. I think all of the stuff has been great, but at the end of the day, we're here to practice and play football and win. Wherever you are practicing, whether it's back home or on the road, doesn't matter. Just go out there and stick to you routine and do your thing. At the end of the week, you've got to feel prepared and ready to go.
Q: Saw you going to Kendrick [Bourne] in some of the key situations in that last game. How has your connection with him developed over these last two seasons?
MJ: Yeah, KB [Kendrick Bourne] is a great dude. Fun, loves the game of football. With him, it's just making sure I can get him the ball and let him run with it. He's a great route runner, great with the ball, yards after catch and all that. Really happy with those guys and the way they fight and work through, we've had a lot of stuff happen this last game, some injuries and stuff like that. They're just working together, playing different positions that they might not normally play and just trying to help the team. Pretty cool to have that group. I definitely feel like they're definitely improving, just got to get them the ball and let them work.
Q: Mac, do you have a sense of who you'll have available on Sunday?
MJ: I'm not sure. We'll see, right? I think whoever's going to be out there is going to be out there. Confident in all the guys. Gotten reps with them, whether that be in off season or even before the off season when we came together, just throwing with different guys, ready for everybody. At the end of the day, we've got a great group and there's no drop off.
Q: Mac, you guys have introduced a lot of shot gun lately, is that something that's driven by you, because it's something that you're comfortable with? Or is it just something that you guys have decided as a group is the best for you guys?
MJ: I think there's things that the coaches look at and all that. As I always say, I played in the wing-T in high school, so I was under center in every situation. In college it was the opposite. So I've done both. Then obviously in the NFL, done both, like both, don't have a preference. I think either one is good. It's all about executing the plays.
Q: Why do you think you've used as much of it as you have lately?
MJ: I'm not sure. You'd have to ask the coaches. I know there's specific things, but you'd have to ask them about it.
Q: You're going to see Josh [McDaniels] on the other sideline. What are your thoughts on one, facing his team and two, the transition that you guys have had offensively without him?
MJ: I think Josh [McDaniels] is a great coach, great person, just really good leader. Just really prepared me really well last year. Obviously got his chance to coach a football team, and he's done a great job. At the end of the day, it's us against their defense. Then obviously, they'll go against our defense. It's how you have to look at it, but he knows a lot of our stuff. Then obviously, we're familiar with them too. I think it's a good matchup. He's done a good job there, watching his games, whether it's crossover film or seeing it on TV. Done a good job, been in a lot of close games, that could've gone either way, so just a really good football team that we've got to be ready to go.
Q: Second part on the transition with the offense here, how would you describe how that transition has been going from him coordinating to the present set up?
MJ: I think Josh was a great coach, and we've got great coaches here now too. Just have to learn from everybody, whoever's coaching you, just learn from them. Everybody's a little different. That's what I learned at Alabama, just had a bunch of different coordinators, but kind of ran the same system. That's kind of where we're at here. Just try to learn from everybody and take something away, the good stuff and add it to your bank of things you can do. Definitely really glad to get the experience with him. Then obviously this year working through a lot of things, getting the experience with the guys we have and they've done a great job. Like I said, there's some crossover, but we're also doing some new stuff too.
Q: In the event that DeVante [Parker] or Jakobi [Meyers] can't play this weekend and the team has to elevate someone from the practice squad, what have you seen from guy like Tre Nixon, Lynn Bowden [Jr.] and guys on the practice squad?
MJ: I think like I said, we'll see, right? It's not my choice and hopefully those guys are feeling better. But at the end of the day, we're confident in everybody. I think the guys on the practice squad, they're working hard. They're out here running, doing the scout team and stuff. I think Lynn's [Bowden Jr.] done a great job helping out, just being a smart football player, trying to learn different things and constantly ask questions. Tre's [Nixon] the same way. All those guys, Tre works hard and everything. They all do. At the end of the day, they hold each other to a good standard and that's what we're all trying to get to, is play together and play with no drop offs. I feel like we're getting there. Definitely going to take time, but just got to keep working through all that stuff.
Q: We've talked about Josh's understanding and familiarity with you that obviously goes both ways, through a couple days of practice and preparation, do you feel like you have a good sense on how they'll want to attack you on Sunday?
MJ: Yeah, we'll see, right, I guess? He knows me pretty well. But at the end of the day, like I always say, they can do whatever they want. They can blitz 11, they can blitz none. Whatever they want to do, you've just got to read and react and play the play for what it is. Same thing with our defense. We've gone against them and all that, there's a lot of familiarity. But at the end of the day, it's all about just competing and just executing and doing the fundamental things right and then see where we're at. Awesome, thanks.