FOXBORO, Mass. — “Special.”
That’s the word Trent Brown now has used multiple times to describe New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
The veteran offensive tackle had high praise for Jones after Tuesday’s in-stadium practice, while acknowledging the steep learning curve the young QB still faces.
“I think he can be special,” Brown said. “There’s a lot going on for him right now — this is a different ballgame, and with Bill (Belichick)’s defense, there’s a lot of moving parts out there. He’s just got to settle down, and I think he’ll be all right.”
Asked what about Jones’ skill set impresses him, Brown pointed to his ability to complete passes that typically give rookies trouble.
“To be so young, I think he makes some throws that not a lot of young guys can make,” Brown said. “I think it’s all about settling down and knowing you can still play the game. It’s still football. Yeah, it’s a different level, but it?s still football. I think that goes for any rookie.”
Brown first praised Jones during spring practice.
“Mac, he?s a young guy, but you can?t really just refer to him as a young guy,” he said in mid-June. “You can tell he?s been at a place where?s got some coaching. I think he?s going to be special here in the future.”
It remains to be seen whether Brown, who returned this offseason for his second stint with the Patriots, will be protecting Jones or Cam Newton this season. The latter started 15 games for New England in 2020 and remains the favorite to win the Week 1 starting job, though Jones could unseat him with a strong preseason.
The Patriots will open their three-game preseason schedule Thursday night against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium.