QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
June 9, 2022
Q: You strum a good air guitar. Nicely done.
Jones: Thank you.
Q: How would you describe where your comfort level is with the new set up coaching-wise?
Jones: Yeah, I think we have a great group of coaches that obviously have a lot of experience not only on offense, but defense, special teams, all of that. They've seen a lot of football and the most important thing is just being on the same page, speaking the same lingo, between the players, the coaches, and we've done a good job of that. It's obviously a learning experience, we're trying to grow together and move in the right direction. I definitely think we made pretty good strides there in the past couple weeks and you can't be done with OTA's and let that fall off. You have to carry that through the season, that's the most important part and we understand that for Training Camp. We just got to get better every day and keep communicating and keep talking.
Q: In terms of streamlining the offense this offseason, are you getting the sense that they are simplifying the offense so guys can play faster and smarter?
Jones: Yeah, I think the idea for every offense is to have an identity and to be able to play fast, play quicker, put stress on the defense is important for any offense. We want to be able to do that consistently and we want to be able to do whatever we want to do at any given time, whether that's a run, pass, play action, short, medium, or long. We're trying to be able to have a little bit of variety and just grow together with the young guys and the old guys. We have guys that have been in this system for many years and then we have some younger guys, like myself, who have kind of seen both sides, so there's finding a good balance and growing together as a unit is the most important part. You know, at the end of the day, football is football, and offensive football there's only so much you can do. You can't recreate the wheel with every different system. I think, you either run it or you throw it, it's really that simple and you know that's pretty much all there is to it.
Q: What was it like getting snaps from Bill Belichick? What's it like to have him so hands on?
Jones: It was good. I know you guys saw that, I'm sure you enjoyed it but it was fun to see him, to get snaps from him. We were just talking through something with the running backs and like you said, he's very hands on and you know last year he was more with the defense and stuff, but now it's like, let me show you this. He's kind of coaching us and coaching the running backs with that drill about how they need to get through the line of scrimmage. He's very hands on and I feel like we've made a lot of growth together, as an offensive unit with him, and then obviously personally with him and as a quarterback group. We're all on the same page and like I said, he's seen the most amount of football of any of our coaches, he's seen offense, defense, and special teams. Having his impute is going to be very beneficial to me. He knows what puts stress on the defense, and now with him being very hands on, he knows how we can stress the defense and how it's going to play into our hand.
Q: How would you describe your connection with Tre Nixon and his development from last season?
Jones: I think our receiver group has done a great job this spring coming together. We have a really good balance between speed and route running ability and blocking defenders in the run game and all that. We have a very good group of guys and Tre like you said, came in with me, we used to drive to the facility every day together last year and take our COVID tests and then go to work. He's a grinder. In the offseason he's there with all the guys at the throwing sessions. I don't think he missed a single one. He's been grinding so he needs to continue doing that just like everybody else and he adds that good speed to the group. He's a nice compliment and hopefully he'll be able to continue to grow like everybody else and we can have a full group here where we can substitute in and out and let those guys go make the plays.
Q: What are some of the areas that you see yourself focusing on to grow from year one to year two?
Jones: I think just keep the main thing the main thing. That's getting better as a football player. For me that's identifying things at each phase, so OTA's are through here and figure out what I need to do better for the season. For me, it's always focusing on the little things, whether that's nutrition, my footwork, how can I get my arms stronger, what can I do better in the film room. It's always a self-evaluation to get better and that's always good to do when you have a little bit of time to sit back and do the evaluation. I've had a lot of time to do that, apply it in OTA's and then obviously the important part is applying that in the season and help us win games. That's the whole point of putting in the work, you do it to win games and try and help the team.
Q: Do you have a message to the child that sold an ultra-rare rookie card of you for an amount that equates to a solid college fund?
Jones: I didn't know that, but that's really cool. You know, congratulations, I guess. That's cool that he got a chance to pay for college and all that. I'm glad that with trading cards and stuff like that, it's all cool and I don't really follow it too much but congratulations.
Q: To your Chinese fans, are you still working on improving your Chinese?
Jones: [He answered in Chinese] I'm still good. I have been busy, I wish I had more time to sharpen up my Chinese, but I do appreciate everyone that follows us internationally. Football is a great sport, whether that be in China or anywhere else. Hopefully we have a really good year and people can continue to watch us and one day I'll have some more time to sharpen up on my Chinese. [He answered in Chinese].
Q: How important is it for you and your teammates to bring energy after good plays in practice?
Jones: I think that's my job to just distribute the ball to the playmakers. I want it to be about them making plays whether that be the tight ends, running backs, or receivers. At the end of the day, we're all doing this for each other. I think we have that chemistry like you said, there's a big play, everyone's excited because they know that another big play can be coming there way. I think that is good that it's more of a spread the wealth time deal and let everybody have a chance to make a play. That's what football is all about. When we score touchdowns, that's the whole goal. Celebrate with your teammates, celebrate with the offensive line, continue to do that every drive that you can. It all starts in off season training, just getting together as a group, understanding what we're trying to do and then getting out there and doing it, like you said, having fun while you're doing it.
Q: What is your approach to your offseason? Are you freed up to try things without a lot of quarterback competition?
Jones: I'm always competing against myself, so regardless of the situations I've been in, I try to be better than I was yesterday. As you get more comfortable with the system and get more comfortable, you try different things and see what works and see what doesn't. I do that regardless every year, try to push myself, try to make myself better whether that's my feet, my eyes, throwing, whatever it may be, being a better teammate. There's thing you can evaluate, but at the end of the day it goes back to me as a person and a player, being the best that I can be.
Q: How is this off season different from the last?
Jones: It's been a good learning experience to go through it and understand that after going through a full season, I know generally how it works, how fast each game comes up, how to game plan each week, how to be more efficient and working out and all that, timing up when I want to watch film. There's a big self-evaluation, just trying to perfect that. It's still not going to be perfect, it's going to change every year. I'm just going to take it day by day, continue to do that in Training Camp, just do what we did last year and try to build on momentum and be more consistent obviously as the season goes along.
Q: What is the importance of finishing OTA's strong?
Jones: We've had a good few days, few weeks really. It's all about, like you said, finishing strong and continuing to evaluate us as an offense. We've made strides, but we know where we want to get to and it's going to take a lot of work beyond just OTA's and we're going to get there. At this point we just have to, like I said, self-evaluate and make sure we push through. Figure out the things we like, figure out the things we don't like and then carry that over to Training Camp.
Q: What is your reaction to being referred to as one of the greatest rookie decision makers at the quarterback position?
Jones: I think every year is a new year and what we did last year was last year. The goal is to, like I said, improve on the things that I can. Take those learning experiences and grow from them, the good and the bad. It's a learning experience. As you get older, you get more experience and you're more comfortable, that's just how life works. At the end of the day, I'm just going to stick to my routine, stick to the process of working hard and doing the things I can do to be a better quarterback and a better teammate and hopefully there's growth there. Sometimes you don't want to always look at the results, kind of just have to grind it out, learn from what you learn from and move on. I'm excited for this next year.
Q: How much ownership do you feel like you have of this offense?
Jones: Yeah. I think that's the whole point of the quarterback, right? Is to lead the guys around you, get them the ball, get the ball out quick, get the ball on time and let the offensive line do their thing. It's a group effort, it's not just one person out there. there's eleven people. At the end of the day, I have the ball every play and I have to make the decisions to help the team win. You got to stop from losing before you can win. That's the goal, to do that even better this next year and we'll kind of see where we're at.