Surprising Rookie QB Seeks Patriots’ Mac Jones for Advice

New England Patriots

Getty New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones might be on the hot seat for the starting job, but one notable rookie signal caller sees it fit to ask him for advice.

That’s Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft. Young and Jones crossed paths at Alabama in 2020 when Jones led the Crimson Tide to a national championship.

“Mac was someone I was really close with. I played under him while I was a freshman at Alabama,” Young said in a May 12 press conference. “I’ve definitely reached out to him about the transition and things that he took away in just trying to get prepared for this next level, this next step. So that’s one of many guys who have been super gracious in helping me.”

Jones went onto the NFL after that championship season, and he shined as a rookie with the Patriots in 2021. The former No. 15 draft pick threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns as he led the Patriots to the playoffs. It didn’t go as well in year two amid 2,997 yards passing for 14 touchdowns and a losing record.

That leaves Jones in a possible quarterback competition with Bailey Zappe. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t tab Jones as the starter even after affirming his role in recent years, and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien emphasized competition for everyone on the roster.

Young followed in Jones’ footsteps at Alabama with a College Football Playoff appearance and Heisman Trophy win. Young will now look to help turn around a Panthers franchise that hasn’t seen a winning season since 2017 when former Patriots quarterback Cam Newton led that Carolina squad.

Patriots Veteran: ‘He’s Ready’

While much has been made about Jones’ down season in 2022, Patriots defensive tackle Davon Godchaux sees things turning around for Jones.

“He’s hungry,” Godchaux told reporters on May 11. “He’s ready. I’m going to let Mac speak for himself, but I’m pretty sure he’s ready to go out there and ball out this season.”

Godchaux also noted that Tom Brady’s return celebration in Week 1 this year shouldn’t be a problem for Jones. Brady last returned to Foxborough in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Jones nearly led the Patriots to victory amid a 19-17 loss in his fourth game as a pro.

“He handled it well that game,” Godchaux said. “The hype was about Tom — which, respectfully so for all he’s done in the league, all he’s done for this program — but I think Mac handled it well that game. He had a great game — actually, we had a chance to win it at the end. He handled it well, and I’m sure he’s going to handle it well this season, too.”

Mac Jones’ Old Roommate Finds NFL Home

Wide receiver Slade Bolden once made sense to join Jones in New England after strong careers together in Alabama, but Bolden will take his talents to the Atlanta Falcons instead.

Bolden went undrafted in 2022 before he landed with the Baltimore Ravens. After going on injured reserve, the Ravens released him in October 2022. Bolden bounced back this offseason to sign with the Falcons, which he celebrated on Instagram.