Mac Jones obviously is thrilled to be the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, but don’t expect the rookie to make his feelings on the matter perfectly clear.
Jones, who won his quarterback competition with Cam Newton, was asked Tuesday about how and when he learned about Bill Belichick’s decision. In a roundabout way, Jones indicated his big day was overshadowed by seeing so many teammates let go as part of roster cutdowns.
“I think it was just kind of with the team meeting and stuff,” Jones said during a “Merloni & Fauria” interview, as transcribed by WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “Obviously, there’s a lot of guys that they have to get rid of and stuff and it is a tough day for everybody. So, just to be in that room and be where I am at right now as a rookie just to hear that, it’s hard for everybody because there’s a lot of teammates on that day that got let go.
“But, I am looking forward. It is a great opportunity and it’s something I have always wanted to do — be a NFL starting quarterback. But like I said, it doesn’t really mean much. The label is the label, but you’ve got to go out and produce and that’s just what it comes down to.”
Jones then offered (some) insight into his ensuing conversations with Patriots coaches.
“You just want to be on the same page as all the coaches and everything,” he said. “They did a good job of explaining the entire situation and a lot of that is private. It’s between me and Coach and all that. Obviously, you have to have that conversation and it was good. I told them that it’s a great pleasure to be named quarterback, but at the same time I feel like we have a lot of work to do and we’re just going to work every day and stack the days together.”
When asked whether he was surprised by the news, Jones offered a simple answer.
Jones and the Patriots will begin their season Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins. Kick off from Gillette Stadium is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET.