“Monotone Mac” Jones…that’s probably not a nickname the New England Patriots‘ second-year quarterback will love. Still, one Patriots beat writer slapped the moniker on the young signal-caller in a recent report.
The Patriots rarely have highly outspoken or opinionated players–at least not publicly. The team had just one quarterback for 20 years before Cam Newton spent a season as QB1 in 2020, and Tom Brady is known for many things, but giving a ton of quotable comments wasn’t one of them during his time with the Patriots.
Because of the history of straight-laced communication from the Patriots, which is influenced by the culture and demeanor, Bill Belichick established during his time in Foxborough; it should be no surprise to see and hear Jones speaking as though he’s pulling every word from a manual.
Jones is as vanilla as they come with every pre and post-game comment, and you’ll rarely get any sort of emotional or passionate response from him off the field. As we move toward what could be a tough season for the second-year quarterback, Jones’ execution of the Patriot way of communicating is drawing a bit more criticism.
Is Mac Jones’ Tone Hiding an Inner Crisis?
The Boston Globe’s Christopher Gasper suggests Jones’ comments and calm responses mask a “crisis of confidence” brought on by the changes and struggles with the Patriots’ offense. In referencing Jones’ keep-it-safe approach to communication with the media, Gasper dropped the aforementioned unflattering but pretty accurate nickname for Jones.
Based on the quarterback’s consistent and less-than-exciting answers to almost every question about New England’s offensive struggles, it’s hard to say Gasper is wrong.
Is the Media Beginning to Turn on Mac Jones?
During Jones’ rookie season, it seemed difficult to find a ton of critics of his game or his approach. However, with signs of struggle on the horizon, there is seemingly some doubt about his development or even his ceiling.
Things can change quickly.
Back in 2020, when Newton was the Patriots starter, he’d led the Patriots to a 2-1 record to start the season, throwing for 397 yards in the only loss within the first three weeks, a narrow one on the road against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. Some suggested that Newton be signed to an extension by the Patriots at that point.
Newton caught COVID-19 just before the primetime Week 4 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He missed that game and returned for the next contest against the Denver Broncos, but it was all downhill for him from there. Now a mere mention of Newton as an option on an NFL team isn’t taken seriously.
Likewise, things can quickly change in the other direction. The tones will change if Jones and the Patriots get off to a fast start during the 2022 season.
A win over AFC East division rival, the Miami Dolphins, will begin to calm the storm. Still, a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and/or the Baltimore Ravens in Weeks 2 and 3 would really take some pressure off Jones and the Patriots’ offense.
However, if New England is 1-2 after the first three games, expect the criticism to become harsher, and “Monotone Mac” might have his composure tested.
Patriots Notes and Quotes
Devin McCourty, his twin brother, and former Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty took in a game at their alma mater, Rutgers University, on Saturday. The latter retired from football ahead of this season and now works as an analyst for Good Morning Football.
Devin is getting ready to begin the season as the Patriots’ starting free safety.