QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
August 31, 2022
Q: How excited do you get now that the preseason is behind us and you get to game plan for a specific opponent?
MJ: I think it's always fun. That's one of the best parts of football is getting into the x's and o's and just coming together, and completing plays together, and getting everybody on the same page. So, when you see a play that you put in and it works, it's a really good feeling during the game because it helps the team win. So, trying to get there. Obviously, this week's really just focused on the fundamentals and what we can do better. Then we'll kind of get into the game plan and all that. But it's football, 11-on-11, and we just have to go out there and execute like we need to do.
Q: How have you felt about the progression of this offensive over the last couple of weeks heading into now as you get ready for Week One?
MJ: Yeah, it's been good. A lot of learning experiences and [there's] always room for growth. I think it's been good. I think we've ironed out a lot of things and it's good that they're happening now. I feel confident in what we're doing. We just have to go out there and do it for 60 minutes, and that's just play-by-play. Obviously during practice, same thing, play-by-play, go out there and execute it and once you turn on the game film and you look back and there's 45, 50 good plays then hopefully you come out on top. But that's more about executing it and doing your job individually. If we all do that, 11 guys do it close to right every play, then you'll have a good play.
Q: How important is it for you guys to simply put up points?
MJ: I think that's definitely a results thing. But, like I said, you have to focus on what you have to do each play and the points will come. Obviously in the preseason, it is what it is. We're kind of past that. We're kind of on to just this week and trying to run better plays, and do things better so that we can put more points on the board. So that will come. I know in watching tape I was talking to our coaches, and it is a long game. Every game is a long game and that's a good thing because there's a lot of plays to be had and a lot of plays to be made. So, it's good to realize that it doesn't have to be made in one play. It doesn't have to be made in 20 plays. It happens when it happens, and you put points up by moving the ball and driving it.
Q: It's obviously a game, but also a business when you get to the 53-man roster which you are now. What's it like for the team when you know some guys who have been giving it their all for months are no longer around here?
MJ: I think that's part of the business, like you said. The NFL, it's a business and it's different than college. Not everybody gets to play and everyone that I've had the pleasure to work with throughout my first two years really here have done a great job in OTAs, and summer workouts, and I've met a lot of great people. So I know that's a tough part of the business, but my first months here I remember meeting people and then they're not on your team anymore so it's kind of weird. But I hope the best for all those guys that aren't with us anymore and the guys on the practice squad. I know they're happy to be back and we're happy to have everybody. I feel like we have a good group of guys that's really close knit. We just have to keep coming together. We have everything we need so we just have to go out there and do it.
Q: How much of your own personal ability to study an opponent, to use that film study will help the offensive along now that that's more part of it than training camp?
MJ: I think, like I said, I've always enjoyed the x's and o's part more than anything else. Obviously, the coaches do a great job setting up the game plan and then going out and executing that. I think by the time you get to game day the goal is to 'alright this is exactly what I'm supposed to do. If this happens, what do I do? If this happens, what do I do?' So you have everything played out in your head already, then you just have to go out there and execute it. I always enjoy that part of it. I always love just seeing a game plan come together and that's an important part of football. I think good teams they take the plays in practice, and they execute them on Sundays. Other teams might not do as well at that. So, we have to do that consistent and when we get there, we'll get there. But right now, it's just finding the plays that we can do the best.
Q: Do you trust your own adjustments abilities both at the line and then over the course of the game? Do you feel like that can give the offense, that you weren't always happy with in the preseason, a lift because you have the opportunity to study an opponent that way?
MJ: I think it's all about your tools and problem solving. I tend to enjoy the problem solving part. That's the fun part of the game, like I said. We have good coaches that are going to put us in a position to do that. We have good experience with some of the looks we've seen last year and preseason. So it's all about what are my tools and how can I fix it? That's the big thing for me, just being able to apply that how I know how to do it and just play the play for what it is.
Q: When you say that you've been able to iron things out with the offense, does that mean you've kind of figured out what plays work and what plays don't and you're kind of moving on with the ones that do?
MJ: I think plays are plays. You can have a bad result with one and you're like, 'aw I don't really like that one,' but a lot of times it's more about the process of the play and what you're trying to do, so I don't think canning a play because it doesn't work one time in a game or practice is [a good] idea. I think, like I always say, I just like to know why and when the coaches explain that to me, they've done a great job explaining, 'hey, this is why we're doing this,' and from there it's my job to execute it and do a great job. That's one of the things that I feel like we have ironed out. I'm very particular about what I'm supposed to do on each play and all of us are and we want to know as a receiver, where do I line up and what do I do. As a quarterback, what are my reads on this specific play. Everybody has their own job, but it's all about what you do on that play to make it a better play.
Q: Mac, how much is this week for you guys used for self-scouting? Like you mentioned, fundamentals, how much is this an opportunity maybe to review what you guys did even going back to OTA's and training camp, before you guys dive into Miami?
MJ: Yeah, I think football is all about fundamentals and for me that's bending my knees and stepping up in the pocket. It's that simple and just going through my reads and getting the ball to the open guy. Everybody else has a different rule or thing they're trying to work on, but especially when you have a little bit of free time, I guess you could call it, you want to get better. It doesn't always have to be x's and o's like you said, just better at fundamentals. Whether that's running routes or blocking or tackling, all that stuff. It's pretty simple and it's just getting really good at that, so we carry it on to the season.