Former Bill Belichick Staffer Lays Into Mac Jones, Patriots

New England Patriots

Getty New England Patriots QB Mac Jones

While Mac Jones won’t be under center for the New England Patriots for some time, a former Patriots staffer believes he was on his way to getting benched.

Mike Lombardi, a former assistant to New England’s coaching staff from 2004 to 2006, made it clear how he viewed Jones on a recent episode of the “GM Shuffle” podcast.

“New England is not doing anything they stand for,” Lombardi said. “They want to avoid losing before they win. As much as I like Mac Jones, I thought Mac Jones would protect the ball and play smarter than he’s played. Now he’s hurt with the high ankle (sprain). To me, he was in danger of either changing what he did, or he is going to lose his job. You’re not going to play in the NFL if you keep turning the ball over the way he was.”

Lombardi continued talking about all the mistakes that Jones had made this season.

“And he’s not good enough to overcome bad mistakes,” Lombardi said. “Part of the allure for me with Mac Jones is that he was going to be a smart player. Protect the football at all costs. But he’s playing out of control. What does he think he is? He’s throwing the ball up for grabs. Seriously. You’re not overly skilled, so when you’re not overly skilled, you have to make up for it with good decisions, good placement. You can’t hurt your team like he’s been hurting his team.”

In the first three games of the 2022 regular season, Jones threw for 786 yards and two touchdowns while throwing five interceptions. It was a far cry from his rookie output where he threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns while throwing 13 interceptions.

What Does Lombardi Think of the Patriots?

The former Patriots staffer doesn’t have a flattering view of his former employer as well. Lombardi laid into how poorly New England has performed in 2022.

“I’ve never seen a New England team like this,” Lombardi said. “This is so anti-Belichick. It’s so not who they are in that building. They just haven’t been themselves. And you can say, ‘Well they don’t have an offensive coordinator.’ It’s not the plays. It’s the mistakes they’re making in the game. You can blame it on the coaches all you want. I think that’s pretty naïve if you want to do that.

“Think about it. They’ve had eight turnovers in three games. It’s not just interceptions, it’s fumbles, too. They’re not protecting the football.”

How Do the Packers View Brian Hoyer?

With Jones sidelined, New England will be entrusting the quarterback duties to the veteran quarterback.

Green Bay head coach Matt Lafleur said that he respects Hoyer in a press conference on Wednesday.

“Brian Hoyer is a guy I’ve got a lot of respect for,” LaFleur said. “My brother was on that staff in Cleveland when he was a starter, and they had him again when he was in San Francisco as well. I remember watching a lot of the cut-ups from the ’14 season, and you could make the case and take all his great plays he made, and you would have thought he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

“He’s been doing it for a really long time, and he’s going to know their system inside and out. That always presents some challenges when you have a veteran versus a more inexperienced player. Although I don’t wanna take anything away from Mac. Mac has been unbelievable, obviously, having a Pro Bowl season last year and doing some great things this year, as well. Whoever’s out there, you just gotta adjust and adapt.”

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