Jones fired a 70-yard pass to a YMCA Metro West and NOBULL youth clinic camp participant, who caught the deep ball at the Patriots practice bubble Wednesday, July 13. Jones then shared a special message for Patriots fans, which ran on Thursday, July 14.
“Training camp right around the corner. Let’s get to work,” Jones said via Twitter. “Go Pats.”
Jones worked with the campers at the football skills clinic this week and said the participants “crushed it”. It’s one of several ventures Jones has been involved in with youth around the Boston metro area.
“Sports is a great way to unify people, that’s something I’ve always believed in,” Jones said in the Patriots’ video.
Jones and the Patriots kick off training camp on July 26 in Foxborough.
Mac Jones Needs a Turnaround Season in 2023
Jones left much to be desired in his second season when he threw for 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2022. NFL.com’s Adam Rank sees hope for a turnaround, which the Patriots must have in 2023.
“So his 2022 wasn’t all that great,” Rank wrote. “But I think that might have been partly because of the, um, unorthodox situation at offensive coordinator, with defensive assistants Joe Judge and Matt Patricia splitting McDaniels’ old job before Patricia took on the role of play-caller, a setup that eventually led to Jones venting some frustration in a very public manner.”
“Jones was also hampered by a high ankle sprain early in the season that cost him some time; it’s worth noting he got better down the stretch, logging 11 touchdown passes against just four picks in his final nine games,” Rank added.
“The offensive coordinator position has been addressed, as we will discuss further in a moment,” Rank continued. “Setting aside the question of when — if ever — Jones might approach the upper echelon of quarterbacks that his predecessor in New England ruled for so long, there is a real chance for him to still be a good NFL QB.”
Rank projected Jones as the team’s MVP for the season. Jones will need to help the Patriots improve in scoring — especially in the red zone as Rank noted.
One of Jones’ biggest mysteries remains at who will emerge as the top pass catcher. The Patriots lost wide receiver Jakobi Meyers to the Las Vegas Raiders, and free agent acquisition JuJu-Smith-Schuster is dealing with a knee injury.
Patriots DB Doesn’t Know if Mac Jones Will Start
New England safety Adrian Phillips, a 10-year veteran, couldn’t confirm if Jones is locked into the starting job during an interview with “NFL Total Access”. Jones initially appeared to have a competition with quarterback Bailey Zappe before mandatory minicamp in June.
“I’m not in the meetings with them, so I don’t know … I will say that Mac is competing,” Phillips told “NFL Total Access” on Thursday. “We’re going to ride him or whoever is out there. That’s a decision that’s up to Bill [Belichick] and those guys on the offensive side.”