Mac Jones delivered pep talks to two of his New England Patriots running backs after their ball-security mishaps.
The Patriots quarterback said he told third-year pro Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson to stay positive after both put the ball on the ground during Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
“Yeah, that’s part of the game,” Jones said Monday on WEEI’s “Merloni and Fauria.” “I think they ran the ball hard. It kind of is what it is. You just need to put an emphasis on that. But Rhamondre, I just told him to keep playing, and he did. He kept his head up.
“And Damien had a great game. He ran really hard, protected well, did everything right. He just had the one thing at the end, but I told him to keep his head up, and he’s not going to let that ruin his entire year because of one thing. That’s not who he is, and that’s not who we are as a team.”
Harris’s fumble was the more costly of the two. It came inside Miami’s 10-yard line with less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and New England trailing by one. Harris, who rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 23 carries before his error, said after the game that he wouldn’t let his fumble “define” him.
Jones and tight end Jonnu Smith also fumbled during the Patriots’ sloppy season-opening loss, though theirs both were recovered by teammates.
“We just have to put an emphasis on the ball (security),” Jones said on WEEI. “We’ll continue to do that and just get better.”