QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
December 8, 2021
On how he feels about getting a break during the bye week:
MJ: I think that's where our mind is right now, just getting ready for our next game, evaluating the past, but not looking too much into it, and then not worrying about the future, and just being where our feet are. The older guys, I think, have a great message. It's just don't let anything in the bye week ruin something in the future. Just go get your rest, enjoy your family, and stay safe. I think that's what we're going to do. That's all you can ask for.
On how impressed he was with the offensive line's performance in Buffalo:
MJ: When you watch the film, you just appreciate what those guys do and how we won the game. That's the most important thing, regardless of how you do it, whether you throw it, run it, whatever the situation is. They did their part. Someone that I did leave out is Jakob [Johnson]. I think he deserves a lot of credit too, just the way he stuck his nose in there, and big Mike [Onwenu] too for coming in as a jumbo guy, along with the five offensive linemen. Obviously, the running backs and receivers did their thing, but everyone that was involved in blocking deserves credit. We are ready to move on from that game. It was an interesting experience, but we have to continue to move forward and we've turned the page on that game, which is great.
On Mike Onwenu:
MJ: I think it just goes back to playing your role and he's played a lot of football in different spots. The five guys we have up there are great and any way we can improve the blocking schemes in a game like that was great. I think it just shows that we have a bunch of guys that care for one another. We're not worried about who's in what position, who scores, or who does this and that. We just want to go out there and put a good piece together and have a productive play.
On what the bye week means to him:
MJ: I think it's just finding out what you can improve on. The last part of the season is the most important part. Nothing that you did before that matters. The bye week's important just as a self-evaluation for what you can do as a player, as an offense, and obviously taking coaching and figuring out ways to improve. That's all you can ask for. Whether it be a mechanical thing, what we can do schematically, or whatever and go out there and do it for the remainder of the season, not change anything too crazy. You can't reinvent the wheel. You do what you do and you just try to improve on the things that you didn't do as well.
On how it feels to go from playing college football to now being a starter in the NFL:
MJ: I think it's been awesome. There have been ups and downs along the whole deal and it's very fast-paced and all, but I think it's just being consistent is the most important part. Everyone's going through it. It's not just me. We have other rookies and we have other guys who are older, whatever their situation may be, where they know how to grind it out. I'm just trying to do the same thing because I enjoy it and it is fun to come in everyday. Sometimes you have good days and bad days, but you've just got to keep pushing towards the final goal.
On how he has brought his turnover rate down:
MJ: I think just playing within the offense, understanding how to win games, what teams do bad, and exposing that. I've obviously been taught my whole football life that when you don't turn the ball over, good things happen. The more you can do that, the more you can play within your offensive scheme, the better. I can continue to do a good job there. We've just been doing a better job with it. Everyone has. The fumbles and interceptions were my fault for the most part, obviously, because you can't throw it to the other team. It's an area to improve on, but you also can't be gun-shy or anything like that. You've just got to go out there and try to throw it to the right guy.
On what it has been like to be coached by Nick Saban and Bill Belichick:
MJ: I've been asked this question a million times, but I think they are very similar in that they demand everything to be perfect and they know what it takes to win. I've been blessed to play for great coaches. I've been a part of great teams and I think we have a really good team here with great chemistry and not only a great coach, but great assistant coaches too. He does a great job of explaining how to win and that's what a lot of great coaches do. You have to understand what it takes. You have to execute it and go out there and do it. That's what your job is, the players.
On how the team can improve their red-zone offense:
MJ: I think just, each week, there's a new plan. We just have to go out there and do it better. Like I said earlier, you can't just reinvent the wheel and create these new plays. It just comes down to execution and a mindset that "Hey, we're going to score here instead of kick a field goal". We can do a better job of that obviously. The statistics say that. When you watch, you want to put up six points instead of three, but if we can get three, that's also good versus maybe turn the ball over. I think scoring is important and then getting up to that 70% mark, where the really good teams are at in the red-zone, around 74% or whatever. That's where we want to be.
On what he is looking forward to the most during the bye week:
MJ: Like I said, reviewing the film and things that we can do better and just getting away a little bit, taking the advice from the older people on our team, but also realizing that we have a big game coming up against Indy. They're a great team with a similar situation that we're in. They may not have started super-fast like we did, but they've been playing really well down the stretch. They're well-coached and they have great players. We have to be ready to go with that in mind and have a big-picture view there.
On if he is planning a romantic night during the bye week:
MJ: That's personal. I think a lot of people are just going to enjoy their families and I will too.
On if he plans on watching football this Sunday:
MJ: Yeah. I usually enjoy, like I said, just hanging out with my family, being a normal person like everybody else, and watching whatever you want to watch.
On if it is hard for him to watch football with commercials:
MJ: Not really. Football is football. Some people like it and sports are great to watch on TV. I think it's great to watch it however you can.
On if he realizes he is not a normal person:
MJ: I don't think so. We're all people and everyone has a different purpose. I think we're all blessed to be where we are. When you're an NFL player, you realize what impact you can have on other people and also just understanding that it's a job. You have to enjoy it, but it comes down to winning games. That's what makes it fun, winning games. When you do that, it's a lot more fun.
On if it will be hard for him to pull away from football for the time being:
MJ: I don't think so. Football season is a long season. One week, you just have to, like I said, focus on getting away, but at the same time, realize what's in mind, realize the goals we have. A lot of that's just being where you're feet are and staying present. Get the body recovered, take the time off, but have the big picture view of what we want to do.
On the influence the older players have had on him:
MJ: I think they're all great guys and, just to be in the same room with the, a guy like Matt [Slater], who's seen a lot of different, not only football schemes, teams in different years. He just has great knowledge about leadership. He's one of the best public speakers I've ever been around, so just taking notes there. Obviously, he backs up everything he says with his work ethic and the type of person he is. He's a model Patriot and someone I look up to and a lot of guys on our team do that are younger players and even the older guys. I'm really blessed to have those. You think of the main guys that are older, they have a lot of knowledge and experience that I'd like to learn from. Hopefully, I can become like them one day. They mean a lot to me and they mean a lot to a lot of people around this organization.
On why he chose to represent the Boston Children's Hospital on his cleats for My Cause My Cleats:
MJ: I thought it was really cool. Obviously, in college, we don't get a chance to do something like that, but just with everyone, they have their own passions, their own things that they want to promote and all that. It's all for a good cause. For me, I'm new here to Boston and I've been very passionate in the past about working with different organizations. Everyone has their own thing that they want to show passion about. I think for me, with Robbie [Klein], the kid that I was representing on my cleats, he obviously doesn't have a chance to play football, but he loves sports. He plays all sports. I took a lot of that into the game with me, just being brave, trying to represent him and the people that may not be able to be out there. Like I said, a lot of people have different things they want to do. I think it's a great cause. I think it does promote all sorts of things in a great way.
On if he had any contact with Robbie Klein after the game:
MJ: Yeah. Actually, him, his mom, and my girlfriend were talking, so that was cool to see. They were watching the game and I saw a video of him watching the game and all that. I know a lot of guys on our team, they're representing people or organizations and everyone that was watching the game got to see that. It was just really cool to see the results of that.
On if he wore a SCUBA suit in the last game:
MJ: No. I just had my normal dress on. I've been listening to Brian [Hoyer]'s advice and all that. You have to get what you have to get on and go out there and play. You want to be warm. Like I said, it's a learning experience. At the end of the day, none of that stuff matters. You've just got to go out and play what you're comfortable in.
On if the extra layers under his uniform helped with the Buffalo weather:
MJ: Yeah. Some guys go out there in no sleeves, this and that. I think it's a personal preference. You want to stay warm as best you can. Like I said, it's going to be a learning experience. There will be plenty more games like that.