QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
On what he expects the atmosphere to be like on Sunday night:
MJ: I think it will be a great, great atmosphere. You know, you play games and big games and stuff like that, and you want to play in games like this, so it'll be really exciting, and the fans will obviously be great, and I think it will be a great atmosphere.
On James White:
MJ: I think James just, he's a guy that leads by example by knowing what to do. He also knows what other people are supposed to do, so he knows what all 11 guys are doing. That's from experience and the trust he has earned and the work he has put in, so it's going to be a bummer not to have him, but he's a great player, and hopefully we can play for him and play like he plays, and that's smart, tough and dependable.
On if he has thought about Sunday night being the first night he will be going up against a star NFL QB in Tom Brady:
MJ: Not really. I mean, it's really just us against the other team, and that's how it always will be, and it's not like one person versus one person, so I think that a lot of it is 11 on 11, and that's what goes into it, and that's how they're going to look at it. That's how every team looks at it. It's just you're getting a chance to compete in a primetime game, and it just kind of is what it is.
On if he tried to emulate Tom Brady's game when he was growing up:
MJ: Yeah. I watched a lot of NFL football and college football growing up, so just watching teams that were good, like the Patriots, obviously, learning a lot from all the quarterbacks I got to see on TV and different things that they do. Just getting the ball out and moving the offense down the field, so nothing specific. Just in general, just trying to, when you're young, you just want to watch and learn, and a lot of it, for me, was like the X's and O's, so just learning the X's and O's and offensive football and the detail that goes into it, so I've always just enjoyed watching good quarterbacks who know how to do that.
On if he feels extra pressure this week facing off against Tom Brady given Brady's long, successful career with the Patriots:
MJ: I think it just goes back to really with pressure, you just got to focus on doing what you're supposed do, and people who have jobs in high pressure situations, that's what they do. They do their job really well, and they prepare really hard, so it's all you can control, and once the hay is in the barn, the hay is in the barn, and you just got to go play, and I think everyone will be excited, and we're just going to be ready to play when it happens.
On how much he works on his emotional responses:
MJ: I think emotions are a good thing and a bad thing, and you just have to learn how to control them, and it's hard when you play with a lot of passion stuff, but you just want to kind of be like an ice man. Just nice and smooth, calm, cool and collected, so you just got to keep your eye on what's important and focus on that. Highs. Lows. It doesn't matter. I can do a better job of that, and I've worked really hard to do that, and the older guys on our team do a good job of just staying steady and just slowly let things happen.
On how he thinks the offense is handling defensive blitzes:
BB: I think blitzing, you know, people do that. I mean, that's part of certain people's strategies, especially versus younger quarterbacks and stuff, so just watch the tape and see what they've done and try and react, and, I mean, it's part of the game. It's not like you're just, anybody's going to be able to sit back there and they're just going to bring three or whatever. They get to choose, and you just have to react to what it is, and yeah.
On Tom Brady's influence on him:
MJ: I think just, like you said, growing up just seeing different quarterbacks play, it was always very helpful to me regardless of the team, regardless of the player, and he's someone that's played for a long time and done it the right way, so you definitely want to be able to watch someone like that growing up and being able to emulate them at any part you can in your game, and just take what they do and learn from it, and that's with anything. You want to look at people who are successful when you want to look and see how they do it, so that applies to anybody in this room or whatever you may be doing, so.
On what it means to play football the right way:
MJ: I think just coming to work every day and kind of just blocking out the noise and focusing on what you have to focus on, and that's what really good players do. They just show up every day with the same positive attitude. and they come to work, and they grind through the hard days and work through all the problems that they have and keep pushing, so that's a common trait between people who are successful. They just, whatever adversity they face, they just keep moving forward.
On if he's had any interactions with Tom Brady in the past:
MJ: No. I haven't. Obviously, I've, like I said, just watching football growing up is just a lot of it, but no personal interactions or anything like that, but yeah.
On what Coach Belichick emphasizes to him to keep improving his game:
MJ: I think that's just private stuff that we talk about, but there's things that are obvious that I need to improve, and I know what they are, and I have them highlighted in my improvement journal or whatever you want to call it, so I know what it is, and there's a lot of work to be done, and that's part of the problem. Like you're saying, you just have to identify, hey, what can I do better and ask questions and don't be shy about it. Just say, hey, what can I do here? What drill or what thing can I do to improve this.
On if each page is getting longer or shorter in his improvement journal:
MJ: I think just sometimes you can do too much, so I always try to just pick one thing each day to get better at, whether it's like bending my knees or like find this on the defense or whatever, so just pick one thing and kind of just move on from there, because if you try to focus on too many things, you kind of are all over the place.
On why the offense is so comfortable in two-minute situations:
MJ: I think it just goes back to practice, and practice execution becomes game reality, so you just have to do it in practice and then apply it to the games, and there's still a lot of work to be done, but I think we've done a good job. Just all of that is about communication and working together as 11 people, so we've done that pretty good, but we got to just keep growing on it and keep adding stuff and find different ways to be creative.
On if it's true that he and Coach Belichick have meetings every Tuesday:
MJ: I mean, we try to meet with the quarterbacks and stuff and figure out just situational stuff, which helps, and I can't go into details on that, but it is really beneficial. Just whether it's the team we're playing or whoever, just watching football, hearing it from a great coach like him and getting advice from the guys in the room that have played for a lot longer than I have, so just listening and trying to see what they see and pick up on things, and it definitely helps just kind of start the week off right I guess you could say.
On if there's anything he can do to help out the offensive line when the opponent blitzes:
MJ: Yeah. I mean, just, it goes back to doing what I'm supposed to do if they bring this blitz, and I'm supposed to throw this pass, and that's kind of what it comes down to, so it's not over-complicating it, but I'm not going to change anything that I've been doing or anything like that, and the offensive line has done a good job, and I've said that numerous times that I can do a better job of getting the ball out, and not necessarily fast, but just whoever's supposed to get it, get it to them, and that'll just kind of take care of itself, but the reps and practice and stuff like that.
On if he is doing anything with the Patriots that is new to him that he is not comfortable with yet:
MJ: Not really. I just think of like high school. I never took really any shotguns snaps, so I feel really comfortable with it, but yeah. It's definitely different. I didn't do a lot of it in college or whatever, but it doesn't matter what the play is. I got to execute it, and you know, it doesn't really affect me either way, but just getting the reps in practice under center, shotgun. Wherever I am. Wherever I am on the field, it doesn't really matter. Just execute the play.
On if his approach has changed knowing that the opposing offense can score points on the Patriots defense:
MJ: I think just listening to our coaches and kind of what we want to do is just focus on today. I know that sounds cliché, but we can't really focus on what's going to happen in the game and stuff. We had a good practice, and the defense had a good practice, so we got to play together. That is one thing that we want to do, and every team that wins usually plays together on all three phases, so if we can do that, I think things will be good.
On overcoming losses in the NFL after being used to so much success in college:
MJ: That goes more back to like process for me. I mean, I'm putting in all the work I can do every week and just sticking to my schedule, and all of the other guys have their routines, and obviously it takes time to mesh together. It's not like it's all built in one day. It is frustrating sometimes, but we've already flipped a page and it's a new week and a new day, and all you can do is just, what did I do last week that maybe I can improve on and then just go from there, and you can only palate and be sad about it for whatever, 24 hours in my opinion, but some people move on quicker than that even. That's always good. You just turn the page, and most importantly, learn, and then continue to grow in the next week.
On the most important lesson he has learned as an NFL quarterback:
MJ: I think just handling adversity, you know. Things aren't always going to go perfect, and they're never going to go perfect, honestly. In the NFL, there's good players on both sides of the ball, and you know, it just goes back to practice execution and just trying to learn and keep moving forward, and like I said, improve on one thing every day and just go from there.