Patriots Coaches Told to ‘Not Be Too Hard’ on Mac Jones: Report

New England Patriots

Getty New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones talks with coaches on the sidelines.

According to a report, New England Patriots coaches were told to take it easy on team’s second-year quarterback, Mac Jones.

“A team source told me that ahead of the 2022 season, coaches were instructed not to be too hard on Jones in an effort to protect him from being too critical of himself,” Fox Sports’ Henry McKenna wrote in a story published February 28. “There had been an issue in 2021 with Jones struggling after getting yelled at, per the source. That source also suggested, in hindsight, it might have been a mistake to go easy on the quarterback.”

Jones was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2021, his rookie season, after leading the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance. He threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. But he regressed in this second season, throwing for 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions as the Patriots finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs.

In his story, McKenna did not elaborate on who actually told the coaches to go easy on Jones.

Mac Jones Wanted the Opposite From His New England Patriots Coaches

Jones himself said he wanted the opposite from his coaches, publicly stating in December that he wanted to be coached “harder” by the staff in New England

“I think it’s accountability,” Jones told reporters on December 1>. “It starts with me. I want to be coached harder. I want to be a better player. The coaches have given us everything they’ve got. They’ve done everything to put us in position to win. But I want to hold everybody accountable, including myself. I think it’s tough, right? You get called out a little bit, you have to admit that you didn’t do your job. That’s part of the game. A lot of that blame falls on me.”

Jones might get what he is asking for with Bill O’Brien taking control of the offense. Julian Edelman warned Patriots players that O’Brien is an emotional coach.

“He used to yell at me a lot,” Edelman told NBC Sports Boston on Jan. 31. “He’d always find one rookie — my rookie year, it was me — that he would just get on. But Billy O. is the kind of guy that if he shows you affection, if he’s yelling at you, that means he loves you. The times that he’s not talking to you, or if he’s not yelling at you, that’s when you’ve got to be worried. He’s a very emotional guy.”

New England Patriots Defensive Coach Receives Praise

After interviewing with the Arizona Cardinals, Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington received praise from Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort, a former scout for New England.

“We had a chance to talk with DeMarcus,” Ossenfort said, according to a story by NESN’s Dakota Randall. “(He) was a very impressive interview. I had known DeMarcus from my time in New England and I wasn’t surprised in the least in DeMarcus and the way he presented himself and his football knowledge. DeMarcus is a talented young coach and he has a bright future in this league.”

While Covington didn’t land the defensive coordinator job with Arizona, he has clearly made a lasting impression on Ossenfort that will catch the attention of teams across the league. If he continues to impress, he won’t be in New England for much longer.

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