Patriots News: ‘Focus on Miami,’ Marcus Jones out, and Belichick shade

Mac Jones, the Red Sox and the Yankees highlight the best Boston sports betting picks for Massachusetts bettors on Monday.
Mac Jones, the Red Sox and the Yankees highlight the best Boston sports betting picks for Massachusetts bettors on Monday. /

Is New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones a dirty player?

While some opposing players may have a great argument that he is, his head coach isn’t engaging in the talk one way or another.

It would’ve been nice if Bill Belichick defended his young quarterback when asked this week if he thought of Jones as a dirty player. Instead, he deflected which will only lead to more speculation when it comes to Mac’s future in New England.

"“Yeah, I’m not going to sit up here and comment about that,” Belichick said when asked if his quarterback is a dirty player.  “I mean we could go through the rest of our roster and ask the same questions, right?  About different things, about players and all that.  So, like I’m not going to get into any of that.”"

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shies away from Mac Jones question

A simple no would’ve worked their Bill.  But, in Belichick’s defense, he does have a big game to prepare his players for.  Though he has praised Jones in the past, he is seemingly avoiding such praise lately.  Not that Mac’s play as of late and behavior on the football field heeds praise.

In any event, the perception of Mac Jones outside the organization is starting to gain traction and he can only shed that by playing well and demonstrating more that he can be a leader.  That starts Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in a game that could keep the team’s playoff hopes alive.  Rightfully so, that is where Belichick’s focus is.

"“Right now, my focus is on the Miami Dolphins,” Belichick continued.  “It’s not on some other game, some other play, some other year, what somebody else said or didn’t say.  Like we’re trying to get ready for the Dolphins and so that’s where it’s at.  So, honestly, I don’t even thing about those things.”"

We’ll keep it at that for now, but it’s a sure bet Belichick will be asked again.

Patriots injury report: Marcus Jones highlight players ruled out vs Miami

New England Patriots
Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Patriots will face the Dolphins on Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater starting in place of Tua Tagovailoa.  While this may appear as a break for the team, Belichick’s defense will still need to contend with the likes of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and they will have to do so with a depleted secondary.

The team have already ruled out cornerbacks Marcus Jones and Jack Jones along with wide receiver DeVante Parker and tight end Jonnu Smith for the game.  With Jonathon Jones and Jalen Mills labeled as questionable, the Patriots could enter the game with Myles Bryan and Shaun Wade as their top cornerbacks.  Against Hill and Waddle, no matter who the quarterback is, is a scary thought.

While all the players ruled out are important, the major loss here is Marcus Jones who has done everything for the team this season.  Not only would he be missed as an option to defend the speed of Hill, he is a dangerous punt returner who can also give the team a spark on offense.

In this game, he would’ve been an important factor in all three phrases of the game, which says a lot for a rookie still adjusting to the game.  But, as the saying goes, next man up for the New England Patriots.

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Kyle Van Noy tosses some unintentional shade towards Bill Belichick

It seems like all the negative is coming about Belichick.  Although one would never characterize the Patriots head coach as a player’s coach, former player Kyle Van Noy pointed out a major flaw of Belichick in praising his current coach, Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers.

"“I would say the biggest difference between Bill and Staley is relationships,” Van Noy said during an appearance on The Pat McAfee show.  “(Staley) has relationships with every single player on the team. It’s really impressive how he can work a room. He’s got everybody’s number in (his) favorites. He can call them right then and there. And any player, he reaches out. I respect that. In this new age of players, you’ve gotta do that. And he’s done a great job of that.”"

Van Noy did point out that he has a great relationship with Belichick but pinpointed that not every player does.  Patriots fans have seen that over the years when it comes to players like Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and even at times Tom Brady.

Next. New England Patriots: Bill Belichick is suddenly public enemy No. 1. dark

This season, there seems to be a lack in relationship with players like Mac Jones and Kendrick Bourne.  Although all those players will be quick to praise Belichick’s coaching and leadership, that interpersonal relationship is not there with everyone.  Belichick would say his goal is to win games, not make friends but he does need to show the players he cares.

In his own way, he thinks he does…but perhaps that is what has gone south with this particular Patriots team.