Patriots Icon Julian Edelman Rips Struggling QB Mac Jones

Patriots WR Julian Edelman

Getty Patriots WR Julian Edelman gestures to the crowd.

If anyone knows what’s it like to have to make a play under pressure, it’s certainly Julian Edelman.

During his 12-year career with the New England Patriots, the hard-working wideout made a number of critical catches, with his near-impossible grab against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 standing out as his signature postseason moment.

Like the fans who rooted for him for years, the former NFL player has watched his longtime team take a significant step back in 2022. While the Patriots still have a playoff-caliber defense, their offense remains one of the least efficient in football.

During an appearance on “Inside the NFL” on Paramount+, Edelman spoke candidly about New England’s recent loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. And the three-time Super Bowl champion showed no hesitation in calling out second-year quarterback Mac Jones for both his effort and his attitude.

“The season’s on the line; you gotta trip him,” Edelman said about Jones’ failed tackle attempt on Chandler Jones that ultimately resulted in the game-winning touchdown.

Fellow panelist and former NFL star Brandon Marshall pointed out that New England’s starting signal-caller doesn’t practice that skill. However, that didn’t stop Edelman from criticizing Jones for his body language and on-field demeanor.

“You know what, he also doesn’t practice the antics after plays and waving off coaches and all these little pissy faces and stuff,” the 36-year-old retired wideout said. “Like he doesn’t practice that, and he does it.”

Edelman ended with, “Why can’t you make the tackle? It’s bad.”

Mac Jones Has Taken the Exact Opposite of the Year-Two Jump

Let’s just say Jones enjoyed his first year in Foxborough much more than his second.

Coming off a promising rookie campaign in which he looked competent and confident, the 2021 first-round pick has looked uncomfortable and unhinged at times during a trying season. Rather than making the all-important year-two jump and firmly cementing his status as the Patriots’ franchise quarterback, he’s regressed mightily under Matt Patricia.

After completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading his team to a 10-7 record, Jones has only totaled 2,310 yards through the air while going 5-6 as a starter.

In fact, the Jacksonville native has thrown more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (seven) during his second season in New England.

Part of the blame for Jones’ struggles falls on the shoulders of his first-year offensive coordinator. Still, as much criticism as Patricia has earned for ultra-conservative playcalling and questionable personnel utilization, his starting quarterback has also missed makeable throws, taken unnecessary sacks, and raised questions about his maturity and demeanor.

Can Bill Belichick Fix a Flawed Offense This Offseason?

Barring a miraculous finish, the Patriots will likely end the 2022 season with a losing record. Missing the playoffs for the second time in three years won’t make owner Robert Kraft pleased, especially after Tom Brady won a Super Bowl title in his first season without Bill Belichick.

Ultimately, the Patriots must make significant changes on offense to put themselves back in the mix in a conference that features star quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson.

Will Belichick replace Patricia with an experienced play caller who can unlock the most out of Jones?

How will he re-tool an offensive line that needs new starters at both tackle spots?

Plus, who will Jones be throwing to? Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor will become free agents after the season, and Kendrick Bourne’s future remains murky based on his lack of usage.

Meanwhile, will New England bring back the highly paid tight end tandem of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith? Neither player has performed up to expectations in 2022, so it will be interesting to see how Belichick handles a position that’s always been a key part of the offense.


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