QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
August 2, 2022
Q: Where are you guys at two days into padded practice?
MJ: Yeah, I think we have a lot of room to grow here. The goal for me is to not run the ball and throw it so, I think our offensive line is doing a good job, and we just have to get on the same page.
Q: Do you feel comfortable with what they are asking you to run schematically and some of the tweaks they are making?
MJ: Yeah, I think we're all just trying to learn and figure it out and just move along here, and at the end of the day it's the player's job to execute the plays that the coaches want. They've done a good job at explaining each play and our job is to go out there and execute it.
Q: What benefits do you see when you are working in formations with tight splits either before the snap or as it develops?
MJ: Yeah, I think that's a specific football question but…
Q: Do you not like those?
MJ: I like football. But yeah, I think different teams around the league use tight bunches and a lot of times it's for their advantage. We're trying to do that a little bit more. There's different plays you can run out of them, so anything that's different can help confuse the defense.
Q: On Saturday it looked like you were frustrated with how practice ended, when you are frustrated with how something unfolds, how do you handle the frustration and what's your process to work through it after practice?
MJ: I think that's why we practice, and I care a lot about football and we all do. It's very competitive and when we lose 'the day,' to me that's like a shot in the heart, you know, it's like we lost the game. So, there's a lot more than that because it's practice you want to learn but at the end of the day we're out here competing and the goal is, to have more good plays than the other team and in that case, that's the defense right now. I feel like we can compete even more and even better but a lot of it is just execution and x's and o's and figuring out how to communicate with each other. So, better days ahead but you know we're in the start of this thing and we got to get it going but we just have to take it day-by-day.
Q: Is that something you have to remind yourself, that it's a process, the offense is changing a little bit and if you don't have a good day it's just part of the process?
MJ: Yeah, I mean I was fortunate to play in a lot of games last year and not every game's going to be perfect, and that's what I learned and not every practice is going to be perfect. But I just stick to my routine and I know what I'm supposed to do, I know what I'm looking for and sometimes I try different things in practice that I wouldn't try in the game and that's the whole point of practice. So just getting my feet wet in the new offense and trying different things and getting on the same page as the coaches is always good, just to see it on film and then teach from it.
Q: How different is year two practice for you with what you're trying to do out here with the offense as opposed to what you were going through last year? What's the most important thing for you as you come off the field and try to accomplish on the field?
MJ: I think just continuing by day. I mean there's a lot more to the day than practice, especially workouts and doing film and all that, so I'm sticking to my routine just like I did last year and obviously when the games come they come but for now, it's just focusing on each day and figuring out what we can do better and talking through it and coming up with a plan.
Q: How confident are you with the background and knowledge that you have?
MJ: Yeah, I think I have a good understanding of offensive football, and I understand how plays work and how plays don't and our job is to execute the plays and when there's something that doesn't work and I know it's not going to work then I need to fix it and make it a better play. So, that's what we're trying to get through on the field. That's why you have really good quarterbacks who can help change plays and fix them and make them better and that's part of practice, is finding the right play and then running it and getting a completion or getting a big play. So, there's a lot that goes into it. As a rookie, you are kind of just running the plays and I had a lot of power last year to change the plays, which I was fortunate, and this year we're kind of working through that right now.
Q: Are you in an adjustment period right now or are you just like 'hey, let's collect the information, run the play and see whether or not it works'?
MJ: Yeah, I try to just get us in the best play with the tools I've been given. Right now we're just trying to run our base plays I think and just kind of see it on film. That's the biggest part, like I said, every offense has a system where they can change the play and we have that too. So when we get there, we'll get there but right now, it's more about the fundamentals.
Q: What do you like about Tyquan Thorton?
MJ: I think Ty is a hard worker. He's starting to really grasp some of the things we're doing and getting open. He clearly has the speed to get open, and we have a great group of guys and we need to spread the ball out to them. That's the whole point of this offense is get the ball to different people and not key on one person and spread the wealth and let those guys run after catch.
Q: You said, it feels like you got shot in the heart if you have a not so great day out here, when you go back and watch the film though are you seeing progress that you would like to see or is it just reliving a bad experience?
MJ: I look at everything. I have a lot to learn but I understand what makes a good play good and what makes a bad play bad, I've played football long enough to realize that, and a lot of it is just talking through it and finding out ways to attack better, but we have great coaches who will get us there. I think right now, it's more about the communication of getting there, and we need to kind of just grow a little bit more here and kind of pick up the pace a little bit and see if we can kind of get ready for this next week right here, that's all you can ask for.
Q: DeVante Parker has made a bunch of plays. It seems like he's picked up things quickly. What's it been like working with him and building chemistry?
MJ: Yeah, he's a great receiver and he's played a long time in this league, and he understands how to attack the football. So we've got a lot of guys who do a lot of different things and my job is to hit them in the hands and they'll make the play, so that's what we're going to try to do.
Q: We see you wearing the sleeve on your arm today, any specific reason for that?
MJ: [Brian] Hoyer usually wears the sleeve, so I have to carry the tradition on. No, I'm just kidding. Honestly, just trying to keep a little bit of compression on there, keep it warm throughout the day. We had a lot of younger guys get reps today, so just kind of let it stay warm while I'm waiting to go in.
Q: Bill [Belichick] mentioned a change in focus when you guys have the pads on where last week maybe you were focusing on the passing game now this week you're maybe working more into the running game things like that, how does the focus or mentality change for you with pads on now?
MJ: Yeah I mean, football is football. It's played in full pads, so I'm excited for these types of practices. It gets you ready and confident for the game, so the confidence needs to build and we need to continue to grow to be able to put on the pads on game day and say, 'alright, let's do this and we feel confident.' So we've got to get there. That's the biggest thing, is just coming together as an offense. You can get good work in a walk-through or in helmets but it really comes when you're in full pads.
Q: You mentioned communication and getting on the same page here a few times and having a problem solving mindset in the past, is that in your mind, as you guys work through a new offense in training camp, the communication part of it, is that the biggest problem you're trying to solve here?
MJ: I think it's just, like you said, every problem has a solution and some of the plays that we're running, we're going out there and seeing what it looks like first, and then trying to figure it out. So that's the biggest thing, is just getting the plays on the screen and watching them, 'alright here's the problem, this guy's unblocked, how do we block him?' It's really not rocket science but our job is to execute what they tell us and go through my reads and go through my run looks and we're going to continue to grow in that area. It's just every play is a different play whether it's a run or pass and the communication on each play is different. So it takes reps, it takes watching film and doing all that.