Jets Coach Impressed (Maybe Little Scared?) By How Good Mac Jones Is

'Way better than I wanted him to be'


September 17, 2021

Mac Jones put the NFL on notice Sunday afternoon with his impressive debut.

And Jeff Ulbrich, the new defensive coordinator for the New York Jets, was among those who realized the Patriots might have something in their rookie quarterback.

Ulbrich was asked about Jones’s debut — a 281-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Miami Dolphins — ahead of his team’s Week 2 matchup with New England. And, honestly, he sounds somewhat concerned about how good Jones looked in the 17-16 Patriots loss.

“He was way better than I wanted him to be,” Ulbrich told New York reporters Thursday, via MassLive. “You anticipate seeing a young, inexperienced quarterback making young, inexperienced quarterback-type of decisions. I didn’t see a whole lot of that.?

Ulbrich added: “I think the film tells the story. You see a young guy with really uncommon poise sitting in the pocket. You talk about getting thrown in the fire, that’s Miami. They’re not afraid of zero blitzing and they came after him. Three pressured him and they hit him. He got hit nine times.

“That’s unheard of and he still sat there in the pocket and delivered throws and made a lot of really good throws down the stretch. He’s going to be a difficult challenge. He definitely does not look like a rookie.”

Ulbrich also touched on the advantages Jones has in his first season, relative to what rookie quarterbacks normally deal with.

“I think he’s got some real skill and poise,” Ulbrich said. “Obviously, he comes from a school where you get NFL-caliber coaching. He’s as NFL-ready as you can find from the quarterback position. (The Patriots) are working the scheme around him giving him some clean reads, some easy reads, some easy progressions. He’s got some good guys to throw to, too. It’s a little bit of all of those things.”

Even worse news for the Jets: Jones started preparing for them minutes after New England’s season-opening loss. How Jones fares in his second game remains to be seen, but his preparation probably will be on-point.

The Patriots and the Jets will kick off from MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
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