JuJu Smith-Schuster Makes Bold Statement About Mac Jones

Mac Jones

Getty Mac Jones receives bold confidence from new receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

New England Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster arguably showed too much confidence in quarterback Mac Jones recently at training camp.

The new Patriots wideout has played with the likes of quarterback greats Patrick Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger in the past — both far more accomplished than Jones. Despite the discrepancy in achievements and Jones’ subpar 2022 season, Smith-Schuster sees qualities in Jones that reflect a high-caliber NFL quarterback.

“The guy’s just super intelligent and like his work ethic is — it’s the best,” Smith-Schuster told the media on July 27. “I’ve seen a lot of guys work, coming into the office early, put in the work, and he’s one of those guys.”

“The communication between me and him and all of the receivers, he speaks up. He sees what he sees and he talks about it. That’s the great thing about us, there’s no grey area in this offense. We speak about it, we talk about it. We fix it, and we move on,” Smith-Schuster added.

Jones impressed as a rookie in 2021 amid a 67.6% completion rate and 3,801 yards passing for 22 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions. It didn’t go as well in 2022 when he completed 65.2% of his passes for 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns versus 11 interceptions.

Patriots offensive coordinators had a role to play in that. Jones thrived with Josh McDaniels before the coach’s departure for the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2021 season. Jones struggled with the tag team of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.

Jones now has offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to work with. The former Alabama offensive coordinator previously worked with the Patriots in the same role for the 2011 season after four seasons in various offensive assistant roles for the team.

Patriots TE Mike Gesicki Confident in Bill O’Brien

New Patriots tight end Mike Gesicki sees progress for the offense under O’Brien. The Patriots signed Gesicki as a free agent from the Miami Dolphins in the offseason.

“It’s been great,” Gesicki told reporters on Friday, July 28. “Excited to be in a meeting room with him, just breaking things down, [and] the energy he brings on the field.”

“He’s very consistent so far,” Gesicki added. “He’s been around a lot of very successful tight ends, and I think for me, personally, just the way he sees things, the way he communicates things to the tight end position has helped a lot.”

“It’s fun to be around a guy like that who’s been kind of around a lot of successful guys,” Gesicki continued, “because he kind of gives some tidbits that are huge for me.”

Gesicki and fellow tight end Hunter Henry could play a big role in the Patriots’ success on offense and Jones’ progress. Last season, Gesicki caught 32 passes for 362 yards and five touchdowns for the Dolphins while Henry had 41 receptions for 509 yards and two touchdowns with the Patriots.

Hunter Henry Believes Tight Ends Will Benefit From Bill O’Brien

Similar to Gesicki, Henry sees things trending the right direction under O’Brien.

“He has a lot of experience in this. I think that especially in the tight-end position, it’s helped,” Henry told reporters on Thursday. “He’s been around a lot of very successful tight ends and I think for me personally, just the way he sees things, the way he communicates things at the tight end has helped a lot.”

“I think will help improve my game, hopefully. And I just try to listen to him. Soak up as much as I can and translate that out here and practice and work on things and try to get better. So it’s fun to be around a guy like that,” Henry added.