The latest praise comes from an important voice: that of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
“I think Mac, he has a pretty good understanding of the things that we do,” Belichick said Friday in a video conference call. “He has to go out there and do them to get comfortable with them. It’s a process. We’ve had a number of other players at that quarterback position come in and go through that. Sometimes it starts a little slower and picks up. Sometimes it starts a little higher and slows down. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
“But, you know, he’s working hard. He puts in a lot of time. Certainly giving his very best effort to do everything we’ve asked him to do and do it the way we’ve asked him to do it, which is a great place to start. He’s earned a lot of respect for that. But he’s got a long way to go. We’ll see how it goes.”
Jones is competing for passing reps with fellow QBs Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Last Thursday, in the Patriots’ first OTAs session open to the media, Jones took reps as the second QB behind Newton and in front of Stidham and Hoyer. We’ll find out if that holds up at Friday’s OTAs session, the second practice open to reporters.
Jones was selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Alabama. He’s the first quarterback taken by the Patriots in the first round of the draft since Belichick began his tenure as New England’s head coach in 2000.