Trade rumors, speculation, and potential beef between the third-year quarterback and head coach Bill Belichick. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire which leads one to wonder where all of this lead will when it comes to Jones.
While the team didn’t draft a quarterback, there has been plenty of rumblings about the team looking elsewhere even with the addition of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien who has worked with Jones at Alabama.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is his own biggest competition
Second year quarterback Bailey Zappe is expected to push Jones as well as Trace McSorley, but Jones’ biggest competition this off season is himself.
Can he win back the trust of Belichick…if he ever had it at all?
Can he return to the quarterback he was in his rookie season and take a leap in his third year? It will be all up to him to show the New England Patriots head coach he is the now and the future at the position because it sounds like Belichick is looking for every reason for someone else to be THE GUY.
When asked if Mac Jones is the quarterback, Belichick’s answer should worry Jones.
"“Yeah, I mean, look, Mac’s been our quarterback for two years,” Belichick said, via CBS News Boston. “And as I tell the team every year, each player, each coach, we all have to reestablish and prove ourselves every year. That’s what this league is. So that’s for all of us. 2023 is 2023 and we’ll see how ’23 goes.”"
Belichick has been consistent with that message throughout the years, but certain players who played under Belichick in New England never actually had to worry about their job. But to be fair, those Patriots players earned and proved themselves as leaders in the locker room and on the field. Mac Jones isn’t there yet, especially coming off a season in which he wore his frustration on his sleeve.
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So, not only does Jones need to beat out “Zappe fever,” he must show he has grown as a leader on and off the court. He almost must show that he can make the players around him better.
Although the New England Patriots didn’t get a No. 1 receiver to plug into the offense as of now, the offense is loaded with capable weapons like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker, second-year wide receiver Tyquan Thornton and obviously Rhamondre Stevenson.
Along with that, Jones must be able to trust his offensive line. If he plays behind a steady line and develops chemistry with the playmakers named above, he will improve immensely over his second year in the NFL.
With a real offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien calling the plays, if Mac Jones isn’t the starting quarterback in 2023 for the New England Patriots, it will be because of Mac Jones.