After a difficult 2022 season for the New England Patriots and Mac Jones, fans and pundits are starting to wonder whether Jones is the right quarterback for New England.
Radio legend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo questioned whether he was during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Radio Row at the Super Bowl.
“I haven’t followed the Patriots from a fan base perspective. I understand, though, coordinator Patricia, Judge failed [as] head coaches,” Russo said on February 9. “That’s a disgrace. You know, I think Belichick. … I still think he can coach a football team. So he can coach my team. Maybe a little too confident that he can figure out a way to handle his coaching staff without the ‘particulars with the coordinators on either side.’ But I don’t know if Mac Jones is the answer at the position. They don’t have a great wide receiver. Right?”
Mac Jones Took a Step Back in 2022 With the New England Patriots
Between on-field performance and injuries in 2022, his second season was a difficult season for Jones. After making the Pro Bowl in his rookie season, Jones threw for fewer than 3,000 yards and 14 touchdowns while tossing 11 interceptions.
Though Jones was not without blame, he was dealt a difficult hand. With Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the offense, the entire unit struggled. Now that Bill O’Brien is the offensive coordinator heading into 2023, fans are hoping for a bounce-back performance by the Patriots offense.
Jones said he was looking forward to working with O’Brien, who was the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama for two seasons and the Houston Texans head coach from 2014 to 2020, according to MassLive.
Jones is “pumped up about the new coaching hire,” MassLive’s Mark Daniels wrote on January 24. “According to one source close to Jones, the Patriots quarterback is ‘very’ excited about O’Brien coming to New England.”
Matthew Judon Believes That Mac Jones Is a Great Leader
Throughout 2022, Jones could be seen in plain view expressing his frustration at the struggles of the Patriots offense. At least one of his teammates, linebacker Matthew Judon, said he didn’t have a problem with the outbursts.
“I think everybody sees that and they be like, ‘Oh, he’s showing frustration or he’s showing youth’ or whatever,” Judon said. “No, he’s just being emotional. He wants to win. He loves to win. He’s been winning his whole life, and he’s showing the passion that he has for the game. Some people take that as a negative thing and criticize him about it. We take it as a positive. We say, ‘This young man wants to win this bad that he’s showing his frustrations.’
“Now, we’ve got to tame it sometimes, and we’ve got to understand how to speak and understand when we can do that and stuff like that, but he’s young. It’s his second year,” Judon added. “First year, he had a lot of success. Last year, he didn’t have as much success, and you just saw it. It’s not that he’s a bad guy or he’s a bad leader. He actually is a great guy and a great leader and a great teammate. But he was just frustrated sometimes, and that’s OK as a football player because we know you love the game.”