Mac Jones wasn’t a member of the New England Patriots when quarterback Tom Brady was behind center.
And Jones isn’t even the first signal-caller to take starting snaps for the Patriots since Brady’s departure for Tampa Bay following the 2019 season.
Still, the 23-year-old first-round pick may feel somewhat like the heir apparent to the 44-year-old GOAT, who delivered six Super Bowl titles to New England. (One season of Cam Newton certainly wasn’t, after all.)
Jones was asked Wednesday, leading up to NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins, if he has ever felt pressure given the legacy Brady left at the same position. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick probably would be proud with how Jones answered (deflected) the question.
“I think, obviously, he’s a great player,” Jones said of Brady. “The word ‘standard’ kind of hit me there because we all want to play to that standard, The Patriot Way, and really it comes down to just doing your job. As a quarterback, that’s leading the people around me as best as I can and that’s also executing the plays. So, hand it off or throw it, that’s pretty much how it comes down to.
So Jones hasn’t even reflected on the situation once?
“He definitely did a good job,” Jones followed up. “When I first got here just watching tape, I watched all the quarterbacks. So obviously he was on there and he did a really, really good job. Hopefully I can do a good job too.”
Brady, of course, spent two decades with the franchise. He then left New England to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won his seventh ring with the organization in February.
Jones was drafted No. 15 overall out of Alabama some three months later and has since went on to win the starting quarterback job from Newton. Jones has also displayed a skillset which has him ranking atop the Offensive Rookie of the Year betting board, all while having earned the respect of his teammates throughout the preseason. That respect continues to be the case, too, as offensive lineman Trent Brown shared Wednesday how Jones is taking command of the New England offense.
Patriots fans certainly will be hoping Jones can provide some promise when he takes the field Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET against the visiting Dolphins.
It would be a sign of life those aforementioned fans haven’t had since the recent departure of Brady.