Belichick gives Mac Jones vote of confidence amid speculation

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Bill Belichick stated late Friday that he “absolutely” feels the exact same method about Mac Jones as he did prior to training school in 2015 when he enhanced the quarterback’s development, which marked the New England Patriots coach’s greatest vote of self-confidence as speculation has actually swirled relating to Jones’ future with the group this offseason.

This is an important season for Jones, the 2021 first-round choice, and Belichick was asked if he’s still the group’s No. 1 alternative.

“Yeah, I mean, look, Mac’s been our quarterback for two years,” Belichick stated. “As I tell the team every year, each player, each coach, we all have to re-establish and prove ourselves every year. That’s what this league is. That’s for all of us — ’23 is ’23. We’ll see how ’23 goes.”

Jones had an appealing novice season that landed him in the Pro Bowl as an alternate, ending up 352-of-521 passing for 3,801 lawns with 22 goals and 13 interceptions.

But he dipped in his 2nd season after planner Josh McDaniels left to coach the Las Vegas Raiders. Operating a brand-new offense, with assistants Matt Patricia and Joe Judge in leading functions regardless of their main training backgrounds beginning defense and unique groups, Jones completed 288-of-442 passing for 2,997 lawns with 14 goals and 11 interceptions.

Now he’ll find out a brand-new offense once again, this time under planner Bill O’Brien, who goes back to the function he formerly accepted the group from 2009 to ’11. Bailey Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round choice, is likewise on the quarterback depth chart with four-year veteran Trace McSorley.

“The quarterback room has been really good,” O’Brien stated earlier Friday. “Mac Jones has worked really, really hard this offseason. Been here every day. We just started working [in the voluntary offseason program] two weeks [ago] and that’s been good. A lot of good meetings. A lot of good give-and-take.

“Bailey Zappe, exact same thing. Really working really hard. Good men that appreciate the group, appreciate winning, and doing what’s finest for the group, which has actually constantly been the mantra. It’s been enjoyable to deal with them.”

The quarterback-based discussion came after two days in which the Patriots used their top three draft picks on defenders — Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez (No. 17, first round), Georgia Tech pass rusher Keion White (No. 46, second round) and Sacramento State linebacker/safety Marte Mapu (No. 76, third round).

Belichick said that wasn’t necessarily the plan entering the draft, adding: “It simply exercised that method … there are a great deal of various methods to construct a group. This is one part of it. Free firm belonged to it [and we] didn’t sign a great deal of protective gamers in totally free firm. Most of the finalizings were on offense.”

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