QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
On if something happened during the course of Sunday's game that caused him to say that he needs to be more vocal on the field:
MJ: Yeah. A little bit just in talking with people on the sidelines and people that have played a lot of football or coached a lot of football. It just comes back to the little things, and it all starts with practice. I mean, it's just one little thing in practice that might show up in the game, or we might've practiced it when I first got here. Some guys had practiced it years ago, and they still remember that rep from practice, and it'll come up when you least expect it. I think just every day you can take something from practice that you need to learn from. Obviously none of us are perfect. It's part of the game, but I think it's just, if we can nail down those little details during practice, it'll help.
On if he has been more commanding on the field:
MJ: Yeah. I mean, you need it more if you don't win. I think that's just part of it. We just need to not press, but there needs to be more of an urgency and stuff. It just all goes back to doing what we're supposed to do every day. If I'm supposed to hand it off, hand it off to the right guy. Make the right calls, you know, and everyone has to do that, and once we kind of come together, and we are every day, that'll just total up to 11 guys doing what they're supposed to do, but if I mess something up, you know, it starts with me. If I mess one thing up, then no one knows what to do, so I just need to be confident, and I feel like I've done that, and I'll just continue to do that.
On how he thinks the game went on Sunday:
MJ: I think just the big thing is just moving on to the next week and learning from certain plays. Whatever it might've been. If you felt like, hey, I should have done this or been more patient, all right. Let's work on that this week or whatever. I mean, you don't want to change a lot of stuff every week, but you want to kind of take what you can do better and just focus on it in practice, even if it's like a fundamental thing like bend your knees a little more. Whatever. Just focus on that, and then it kind of gives you a goal to work towards during the week and then moving forward for this week. I think it's just more about us just focusing on what we need to do. Just moving on because the last game is the last game, and now we're just ready to play against a really good team in the Jets.
On if he was surprised by the speed of the game:
MJ: Not surprised or anything, but yeah. It's definitely faster, but you know, it kind of slows down when you get more reps and stuff and hopefully each week. Obviously some guys around me have played for like five, six, seven years, so they're used to it, and I didn't feel like out of place or anything, but definitely can improve on just being quicker and helping them move quick to just push the tempo and all that stuff. They obviously know what to do every time, and you know, I do too, but I just need to do it faster and more consistently.
On if he knows Zach Wilson and his impressions on Wilson's game:
MJ: I don't know him that well. I met him one time, and he seems like a great guy, or twice actually at the draft and stuff, so we talked for a little bit, and he's a great player. Makes a lot of really cool and different plays. He's a really good quarterback.
On if losses motivate him:
MJ: Yeah. I mean, it's not fun to lose, so just learning from what we could have done better is definitely just the only thing you can do really. You can sit there and feel bad for yourself for a little bit because you're human and that's what you're supposed to do, or you're in the wrong profession, but you just got to move on, so like the 24-hour rule. After 24 hours, for some people it's less, but for me, after that, just move on and play the next play. Play the next game, and you're only as good as your last game. We lost, and that's what people remember, so we just got to move forward.
On what challenges the Jets' defense proposes and the differences he sees between the Jets and Dolphins:
MJ: I mean, there's no need to compare anything. We're just obviously playing the Jets. They do a really good job running to the ball. They play really hard. We just got to be ready to go. Be ready for different looks, and you know, they're really good on third down and stuff too, so they obviously have new coaches and they've done a good job installing the defense and all that, so, you know, it really comes back to us and just playing the best we can, and they're going to play their best, too, at home, so we just got to be ready to go.
On his wink to Elandon Roberts during the Miami game on Sunday:
MJ: It was just kind of fun and games, but yeah. It was just in the middle of the play. They actually like called out our play, so I was like, ah. Nice catch. You know. Anyways, it was just fun and games.
On if he shifted the play after the wink:
MJ: No. I mean, I just stuck to what I was supposed to do. Sometimes they don't know the answers either.
On the breathing exercises he does on the sidelines:
MJ: I mean, just breathing in general, just slowing down your breathing, there's some specific things you can do, but for me, that helps because that kind of lowers the pressure part of it, and you just kind of relax a little bit. I think a lot of successful athletes use that, and I've been doing that for probably like two or three years now, but yeah. It just depends on the player. Some people probably focus on it more than others, but especially when you have to run a lot. I know the receivers, sometimes they have to focus on their breathing a lot, and then for me it just helps just calm everything down.
On where his selflessness came from:
MJ: That's a good question. I think just overall it comes back to just my family and kind of what they've instilled in me. Just always being a team player, and I wasn't necessarily that way when I was really young. I can honestly say that sometimes it was more about me than other people, and that's not how it should be, and ever since, I mean that was when I was really young, but ever since then, I just made it more about the team because that makes it more fun. It's not about me, and it never will be, and it shouldn't be. Obviously being a quarterback, everyone wants to, you know, hype you up and give you all this and that, and sometimes you need to take more blame than they give you and things like that, so I've always just tried to be humble and stuff. It just works out in the long run, and that's the best way to be the best teammate you can be.
On if there was a specific moment where he realized he had to become more selfless:
MJ: I don't know. I was so young. I was probably like six or something. Yeah. I don't know. I feel like, you know, when you're young, like you're just always so competitive because of my siblings. We always competed really hard. I always wanted to win everything, and then once I got into team sports, you know, my family's kind of a tennis family, so that's individual. Obviously it's you against one person or you and one other person against two people, so you have to learn how to be a good teammate, and I learned that early on. When you can do that, people around you, it just makes it more fun, and I never really was that way, but like early on, I just think I definitely could have improved, and I realized that at a young age. Just learning from my dad, you know. Things like that. Everyone at some point I feel like they learn that. They should learn that because you just want to be a great teammate in whatever sport or whatever you're doing in life.
On if the team will respond positively on the field to last week's game:
MJ: Yeah. I think we're moving the right direction. Just take it day by day, and obviously there shouldn't be any focus on the past. We just got to focus on what we need to get better at. That's kind of, for me, just fundamentally, what can I do each day extra or whatever, just to improve so that when I get to the game, we play fast, and we play better than we did last week.
On when he started preparing for the Jets:
MJ: I usually wait for a little bit of time. It just depends, but you know. Sometimes when we lose, I always look ahead just to get a sneak peek of what we want to look at. It just depends on the game, but definitely early this week for sure.
On when his handshake with Damien Harris began:
MJ: College. We just created it when I was young. He was a starter at the time, and I was like third string or whatever, but he just has always been a great friend to me, and everyone obviously loves Damien because Damien is a great person, so we've kept in contact, and obviously when I got here, he was extremely excited, and I was too because that's one of the people that is one of my closest friends. Just really cool, and hopefully we can just continue on our journey together and go through the ups and downs together, and he's very positive. Like whenever he ever feels like I'm down or something, he always comes over and is just, hey, you're good. Like, let's go, so that's how he is, and that's how a lot of guys on our team are, and that's why a lot of people love Damien.
On if he treated Damien the same on Sunday as how Damien treats him when he is feeling down:
MJ: Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, he's a thick skin guy, but he's hard on himself. Just like me and a lot of the other guys on our team. I feel like there's a lot of perfectionists on our team, so yeah. Damien's hard himself, but today he's running the ball hard and doing exactly what he's supposed to do, so that's about what you expect out of him.