QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
On if he felt nervous at all during the first two regular season games and his overall progression this season:
MJ: I don't know about nerves. I said that earlier. Just obviously you're going to be nervous and as you do something, whatever you're doing, whatever job you have, whether it's a football player, as you do things more, you get more comfortable. That's just how life works, and you try to put yourself in a position to be super comfortable early on, and obviously NFL quarterbacking is hard, and you just got to find ways to get better each week, and I think the guys around me have done that. I think there's positive energy at practice, which is something that we were trying to work on, and obviously executing the plays and fixing some of the things we wanted to fix from the game, and we did that today. Definitely just had the right energy. I feel like, obviously, some of the plays or throws, I get it. I'm better, but we are moving in the right direction.
On the importance of coming away with points on a possession and not forcing throws:
MJ: I think, obviously, you want to score touchdowns, and you can't be too conservative or too not [conservative]. You kind of just have to do what you do and read your reads and the points will come, but at the same time, sometimes you have to know when to call it quits on a play. Like, you know, maybe, hey, this doesn't feel right or something went wrong, so you kind of just have to know when to call it quits and throw it away and move on to the next play, and sometimes the next play is a kick, so you just have to accept that, and it's hard when you're really competitive and you want to keep the play alive or you want to hold the ball or whatever the situation may be, but at the same time, you kind of have a clock in your head of when things are supposed to happen.
On the positive energy at practice:
MJ: I guess that's an interesting word to put with energy, but definitely just like real, positive energy that you're not just out there like, oh, let's go, you know. It's actually like, we're having fun out there and writing plays together. We're not just running plays, but we know why we're running those plays. We're trying to get every detail right so that everyone, all 11 are doing their job, and it starts with me calling the play correctly, getting to the line, running it, and that makes it fun when we complete it or we have a big run or whatever it may be and the play works how you talked about the play in meetings, so that's always been the best part about football is like, when you talk about something or you put something in and then it kind of goes with what you thought or it goes how you thought it was going to go and you got the right look or whatever, and you hit it or whatever, and that's kind of like the great energy that you get from calling plays or running plays, really.
On if he is still adjusting to quarterbacking in the NFL:
MJ: I think it's just trial and error. Just trying to, first of all, run the play correctly. Like get it to the first read if he's open or whatever and just stick to my reads, and, you know, plays will come. You can't chase plays that aren't there or you think might be there, and sometimes in the game, as a quarterback, you see one thing, but everyone else saw it differently or whatever, so whatever you're doing, if you're a receiver and you tried this stem or this route, and it didn't really work or whatever, but they thought it was going to work based on what they saw at that moment, you kind of just have the in-moment instinct just to react and play. So that's important because when you're overthinking stuff, you might not play as fast or as good as you can, so you just got to go out there and play football like you're playing in the backyard. But at the same time, you got to do it the right way and how the coaches are teaching us, and that's going to be great because they've put us in a position to have really good plays, and I know exactly what I'm supposed to do on each play.
On the line between taking what the defense gives him and letting the defense dictate to him:
MJ: I think it's offense, you have control of that situation. Defense, you're reacting to everything, and I've never played. Actually, I have played defense. I played cornerback like when I was in Little League, but you're reacting to what someone's doing. Not all the time you know what they're doing, so I think that's part of it is just, we have to figure out what we're doing first and then react to what they're doing, and they also have to react, so it kind of just all goes hand in hand, and you can't over complicate it, and I think there's definitely times when I watch the film and I wish I threw the ball down the field more, but at the same time, I'm just going to continue to do what I do and take what they give me.
On if he's seen progression in the team from week one to week two:
MJ: Yeah. I think a lot of the guys have. We've definitely gotten better as a unit. Just, you know, at first in the preseason games, you might get this many reps with the ones or whatever, so now we're all together, and we understand like who's going to be out there together and kind of what we expect, so I think just getting the extra reps and obviously there's times I'm always going to say that I wish I could have done differently in the game or whatever, but you can't focus too much unless you're just looking back to see how far you've improved. I think we've definitely improved, and we just have to continue to do that, so we will, and it just goes back to practice and fixing what we can fix, and then keeping everything that we know and that we're good at in our back pocket, and when it comes up, we know how to do it.
On the value of playing against the Patriots defense during practice:
MJ: I think it's great. I think our defense is very multiple, and there's a lot of veteran players on our defense, and when we get a chance to go against them, it's still 11-on-11, and they do a good job. Sometimes we're scheming for a team, but we still have to play against our defense, and they do a good job of just playing what they play, and obviously they make plays too and the job on offense is to score and try and make plays as well, so whenever we get a chance to go against them, it's a good battle.