New England Patriots second-year QB Mac Jones almost always says the right things during interviews. His comments are safe and always encouraging and positive.
Even when Jones admitted to being frustrated with the offense’s performance during training camp, Jones left everyone with a ray of hope as he said, “I’ll figure it out. I always have and I always will.”
However, some who have been observing the team closely through training camp believe the positive spin Jones puts on everything is a facade.
Jones Is in a ‘Crisis of Confidence’
The Boston Globe’s Christopher L. Gasper didn’t pull any punches with his assessment of Jones’ post-practice comments and what the former believes to be the true state of the QB’s confidence.
“No matter how many tepid votes of confidence Monotone Mac gives, his body language gives him away, indicating frustration with the reimagined offense,” Gasper wrote. “He’s giving up on plays in practice, prematurely bailing out of the pocket in preseason games, and spiking wristbands on the sideline.”
Jones often struggled with containing his emotions during frustrating moments as a rookie. We found out he has struggled with this since he was a kid competing in athletics. Some might be wondering how the emotional young quarterback will hold up during what could be a challenging season with an offense going through massive changes.
Gasper believes “Monotone Mac” is already showing some cracks as he points out some “alarming” signs.
“All of it points to a quarterback undergoing a crisis of confidence in an offense with new terminology, new communication, and an emphasis on different elements,” Gasper wrote. “That’s alarming since so much of the Patriots’ ability to close the gap on the Buffalo Bills is dependent upon Jones leveling up this season. The redesign was intended to maximize Mac and be something closer to what he played in at Alabama. So far, no dice and no joy for Mac.”
Should Patriots Fans Be Worried About Jones?
It’s probably a little premature for Patriots fans to panic. Even though most reports indicate the Patriots’ offense struggled during training camp, and we all saw them scuffle during the preseason finale loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The offensive line struggled to hold their blocks, the wide receivers weren’t excellent at gaining separation, and Jones had some accuracy and decision-making issues.
Still, Jones and the Patriots offense haven’t played a regular season game. There is at least a good chance the Patriots haven’t rolled out every wrinkle they plan to use this year during the preseason.
There may even be a chance the Patriots elect to further simplify the offense to better position Jones, his line, and weapons in the passing game to experience some success.
That said, it’s still possible the Patriots and Jones could have a horrendous year. Protection has been an issue, and those problems have augmented any concerns with Jones’ arm and the play of his offensive line. If New England gets off to a slow start this season and Jones hasn’t played well, he will feel the pressure from outside forces, but if we’ve learned anything about the young signal-caller, he’ll be extremely hard on himself.
That tendency could dig a hole that is difficult to climb out of this year. As much as people around the organization are likely hoping to see Jones improve his arm strength and accuracy, they’d probably also hope to see growth and maturation when it comes to dealing with bad performances.