QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
August 24, 2022
MJ: Once again, we're trying to just focus on the process. It definitely was a better day for us, but we have to watch the tape and clean it up. Good day in the heat once again. It's good always to train out here and use these facilities and all that. It was a good, clean practice.
Q: Can you tell us what happened on that last throw to Hunter Henry?
MJ: It was just an end of a two-minute drive to finish the game. So, we had a last play-call, and he made a good catch, and I had time to throw it. So, it's good practice to get that situation. Both teams got that situation. So, that'll come up for both of our seasons. You never know what's going to happen, but you have to be ready for it.
Q: What is your relationship with Jakobi Meyers?
MJ: Yeah, he's a really smart football player. He's been one of my close friends since I've gotten here, and I trust him. We see the game the same way, sometimes without even talking about it. So, we're just working on growing together and making our repertoire a little better, with what he sees, how can he help me, how can I help him. Hopefully we can grow together here. He's just a tough, smart football player. I'll take him on my team – forever, hopefully.
Q: What does it feel like bouncing back play to play and series to series?
MJ: I just play each play one play at a time. I don't worry about the last play, don't worry about the next play, just focus on the play you're on. Sometimes it's hard to do that when there's a lot going on. It's faster than a game in practice, in my opinion. We're just trying to make it harder. So, just trying to get to that one play mentality and continuing to do that, obviously, during the games and during every practice. I think that's a good point.
Q: Do you like the joint practices?
MJ: I love the joint practices. I think it's really good work. Especially here, like I said, get in the heat, go against a team with a lot of familiar players and really good coaches. Just compete, play football, and not worry about anything else. Just come out, and it's fun. They're always fun, but this one was a lot of fun just having some familiar faces out there.
Q: How much did you enjoy the opportunity to interact with Josh McDaniels and former teammates?
MJ: I think, like I said, whether that's between Alabama or the Patriots, I'm very fortunate everywhere we go I have at least a teammate or two, or a coach, or somebody. Obviously, they have a great coaching staff. You can tell our coaching staffs respect one another and the players do, too. So it was just good, healthy competition and we just have to carry that over to the game and see how that goes.
Q: What about the two-minute, hurry-up-mode makes you guys perform a little bit better?
MJ: I mean yeah, it's just you have to throw it, and with throws come bigger plays. It's always good to know that you're throwing it and feel comfortable and know what you're trying to get, whether that's a field goal or a touchdown. You get to play a little bit of the game within the game. 'I need this many yards or that many yards,' and obviously you know you're throwing it. So, that's a lot of it, but, like you said, the two-minute, you could have the worst day ever, and you could be down by a lot of points in a real game, but if it's 10-10 at the end of the game you go down and score or kick a field goal to win, then nothing matters before that. So, that was one thing that we took, give or take out of yesterday's practice. It's kind of not really like the real thing, but it's good practice.
Q: You guys are still trying to figure out your offensive identity – how quickly do you need to find that with the first game a couple weeks away?
MJ: I think we've done it in multiple ways. It's just finding it in the game, and finding our rhythm, and that's going to just happen over time. It's a long season, and we're not really worried about the future. I think Coach Belichick's laid it out for us that we're going to focus on how can we just play better, how can we just fundamentally be better. Like, for me, just throw to the open guy, wherever that may be: it could be deep, short, in the middle, it doesn't really matter. For the offensive line, pad level, things like that. It's a lot of fundamental stuff that, if you just fix those, it really doesn't matter what you do x's and o's-wise, you should be able to compete with the players that we have and all of the talent that we have.
Q: In those "gotta have it" plays, do you just call the play in the huddle or do you deliver an extra message?
MJ: That's the cool thing about the NFL is the huddle. For me, that's one of my favorite parts. I'm a pretty laid-back guy, but I can always give that message, like 'hey, I need some time here,' and they always respond really well, which I appreciate. The offensive line did a great job today, specifically, just keeping the pocket clean. Obviously, it's practice, but still really good there. It could be a short message, like 'hey, make sure you catch it and get down, we're going to call a timeout.' It's all sorts of things. So, it's a constant game within the game that we have to keep working on. That's what I love about being here, I feel so prepared when they come up in the game based off of my experiences. I'm always prepared for what's coming.