Former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky Breaks Down How Mac Jones Can Improve

It's been a mixed bag for Jones through three weeks

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September 29, 2021

Mac Jones was solid through his first three weeks as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, but far from perfect.

Jones played sound, mistake-free football in each of New England’s first two games of the season. The rookie quarterback completed at least 73% of his passes in both contests and didn’t commit a single turnover against the Miami Dolphins or the New York Jets.

That wasn’t the case in Week 3 when Jones labored against the New Orleans Saints, throwing three interceptions in a two-touchdown Patriots loss at Gillette Stadium.

With Jones approaching the quarter mark of his first NFL campaign, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky sees two areas where the Alabama product can improve.

“I think specifically with Mac, two things,” Orlovsky said Tuesday on ESPN’s “NFL Live,” as transcribed by Saturday Down South. “No. 1, you’ve got to realize that right now the way defenses are playing in the NFL, you’ve got like four shots a game to create some big, explosive chunk plays, and those really swing the momentum and the end result of the game. When they’re there, you’ve got to take them.

“And then he’s got to transition his mind a little bit from, ‘Don?t hurt the team,’ to, ‘Find ways to help the team.’ And that’s going to be taking your eyes and instead of going short to deep, there’s plays — those three or four plays a game — you’ve got to believe that your eyes start deep and then bring them to short, and when you see it, trust it and let it go.”

Jones and Co. can’t afford to play a conservative brand of football Sunday night when the Buccaneers visit Gillette Stadium. Given the way Tampa Bay’s offense has looked to date, Jones likely will need to not only seek out, but capitalize on those explosive plays Orlovsky mentioned.

Thumbnail photo via Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports Images
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