ac Jones had a great start to his NFL career and a current member of the New England Patriots saw it coming many years ago.
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Linebacker Mack Wilson met with the media for the first time since being traded to the Patriots. New England acquired Wilson from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Chase Winovich.
While he has some new teammates to get acquainted with, Wilson already is quite familiar with one player. Jones and Wilson were at Alabama at the same time. While Wilson was getting playing time, Jones was stuck down in the depth chart as a scout-team quarterback.
In an introductory press conference with the media, Wilson stated that he knew Jones was going to be special, even when he wasn’t getting playing time.
“I tell a lot of people I knew Mac when he was a pup,” the linebacker said in his introductory video conference, “and just seeing how much he grew as a person and a player, it amazed me. Because growing up, and obviously when we were in college, I was telling everybody back home, friends and family, like, Mac Jones is going to be special.
“And a lot of guys didn’t believe me. Even some of the guys that were on our team didn’t believe me. I just saw something in him. He’ll tell you himself — I just saw something in him that just made me be like, ‘Hey, this kid is going to be special.’ “
Wilson also stated that Jones looked like he belonged at Alabama.
“He just had a swagger,” Wilson said. “You know a lot of guys come in as freshmen all uptight and things like that. Mac just had swagger, and that’s something that caught my eye. He made some big plays. He made some great throws. Even when he scrambled, he had a little juice in him. It was just different little small things that made me like, ‘Hey, I like Mac. He’s going to be good.’ I believed in it, and obviously, it’s coming true.”
Wilson had his Moments
While Wilson talked very highly of Jones, that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t successful against him in practice at Alabama. The linebacker was able to pick off Jones a few times while in college.
“Even though I intercepted him a couple times at practice, I used to always tell him just stay working, man, just stay patient, and your time will come,” Wilson said. “That’s what he did, and obviously, the rest was history. But he’s just looking forward to Year 2 here, and I can’t wait to see his game develop and him go to the next level.”
Wilson will now be looking to cause some turnovers in order to give Jones and the Patriots offense the ball. After struggling with the Browns, Wilson will be looking to revive his NFL career in New England.
In three seasons, Wilson tallied 163 tackles, one sack, one interception, and a forced fumble.
Jones’ Second Season
Jones will also be looking to improve in his second season in New England. While he had an impressive rookie season, the second year is a crucial one for quarterbacks.
Jones threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in his rookie year. The quarterback also went to the Pro Bowl thanks to his performance in 2021.
The Patriots quarterback will have a few new weapons to throw to this season. The main one being DeVante Parker who New England acquired via a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Now being the only Patriots receiver to have ever eclipsed 1,000 yards in a season, Jones and Parker have the ability to put up some big numbers.
So while Patriots fans have just begun to see how special Jones is, Wilson has known that Jones was a special player for quite some time.