Mac Jones Raises Important Point About First Patriots Offseason

'It's been almost two years of football'

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February 23, 2022

The 2022 NFL offseason will provide a long-awaited breather for New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones.

In the 2020 collegiate season, Jones started all 13 games for undefeated, national champion Alabama. Then, he immediately jumped into NFL draft prep, attending the Senior Bowl just weeks after winning the national title. Then, after beating incumbent starter Cam Newton in training camp, Jones proceeded to start all 18 games for the New England Patriots, including last month’s wild-card playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

That’s a grind, even for someone as football-focused as Jones is, and it might have contributed to his late-season dip in performance. After the Patriots’ Week 14 bye, Jones’ completion rate dropped by nearly 10 points, his passer rating dropped by nearly 20 points, his turnovers spiked, and New England lost four of its final five games.

Now, though he’s already looking forward to the 2022 campaign, the 23-year-old quarterback is thankful to have a bit of time off.

“I think that’s the fun part about everything in the offseason,” Jones told the Patriots’ in-house video team during an interview on Super Bowl LVI Radio Row. “You get a second just to catch your breath and figure everything out. This has definitely been the longest year. It’s been almost two years of football. I love football and I love to keep going as best I can, but it’s always good to step away and evaluate what you can get better at, too.”

Jones has said he plans to focus on improving his strength and diet this offseason, along with taking on a more prominent leadership role within the team. He also believes the experience he accumulated as a rookie will benefit him in Year 2.

“I think back to my freshman year at Alabama,” Jones said. “You’re kind of figuring everything out. And then you get older, and you’re just more experienced with everything — the media, the games, everything.”

After traveling around the country in the opening weeks of the offseason — including a training session in Texas, a week in Las Vegas for the 2022 Pro Bowl and a few days in Los Angeles for Super Bowl week and the NFL Honors ceremony — Jones said he plans to spend most of it in the Foxboro, Mass., area.

“I want to be back close to home in New England in the offseason, because we obviously have our place there, and just figure out ways to become a better quarterback,” Jones said. “And then do whatever we can to put more points up on the board so we can win more games.”

Thumbnail photo via Marc Lebryk/USA TODAY Sports Images
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