When you lose 47-17, Twitter trolling is to be expected. When it comes from a former NFL All-Pro and current free-agent offensive lineman, it opens a few more eyes.
The media and many fans have been taking some shots at the New England Patriots‘ handling of rookie quarterback Mac Jones all season. When Jones threw the ball just 3 times in the team’s Week 13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, we heard all kinds of criticism.
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FOX’s Nick Wright claimed Bill Belichick “emasculated” his rookie signal-caller by relegating him to a designated hand-offer.
During the Patriots’ lopsided loss to the Bills on Saturday night during Wildcard Weekend, former Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz took to Twitter to take a shot at Jones and the Patriots’ offense.
Late in the game, Schwartz tweeted:
Who is Mitchell Schwartz?
Schawrtz, who is still just 32 years old, missed all but 6 games of the 2020 season with an injury–including the postseason. He was a free agent this past offseason and didn’t sign with a team. He had been extremely durable prior to 2020. He played in all 16 games in every season he played in the NFL (2012-19) before he had issues the following season.
He helped the Chiefs win it all at the end of the 2019 season, but wasn’t on the field when KC tried to repeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following year. Schwartz has been very active on Twitter during his time away from the field.
His humorous and often insightful tweets have been commonplace during the opening weekend of the NFL Playoffs. This post was just one of the many kick-them-while-their-down tweets from the Twitterverse during a night the Patriots and Jones would probably like to forget.
Expect More From Jones in 2022
A rookie NFL quarterback who passes for 3,801 yards, 22 TDs and 13 interceptions with an approximate value of 14 while leading his team to 10 regular season wins doesn’t need much defending.
Jones played very well most of the season, but he did experience some growing pains most don’t expect him to repeat into the future. There probably won’t be many more games where we’ll see Belichick limit him to single-digit pass attempts. That game plan was a product of the 50 mile-per-hour winds and Jones’ inexperience.
Looking ahead, Jones’ responsibility and Belichick’s trust in him should increase. There is a chance Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (someone who is notoriously safe with play-calling) might exit with a chance to pursue a head-coaching opportunity.
That could lead to the Patriots hiring someone who is far more comfortable recommending a more aerial-based attack for the Patriots’ offense in 2022. In any case, Jones will almost certainly be expected to win some games and gain respect with his arm.
If his rookie season was any indication, his success in 2021 is only the beginning of what figures to be a solid NFL career. The Patriots’ arrow is pointing up if they can get younger and quicker on defense while also adding a weapon or two for Jones to throw to next season.
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