Mac Jones Receives Glowing Review From Patriots Owner Robert Kraft

Kraft expects a lot from Jones in Year 2


March 29

The Mac Jones-Tom Brady comparisons never have been fair to either player, but it’s easy to connect those dots when you hear Robert Kraft talk about the new Patriots quarterback.

Kraft was candid Tuesday morning at the NFL Annual Meeting, offering his thoughts on New England not winning a playoff game in three seasons, Bill Belichick not naming offensive or defensive coordinators and the Patriots’ quiet to start to free agency. Kraft was cautiously optimistic while discussing all three of those topics, but the Patriots owner didn’t couch any of his takes on Jones, who enjoyed an impressive rookie season.

In fact, Kraft clearly expects a lot from the 23-year-old in Year 2.

“These young quarterbacks — good ones — in the second year, have usually grown a great deal,” Kraft told reporters. “… I’m a big fan of Mac Jones. I think, I see how hard he works, and he wants everything to go right and he puts the time and energy — and his personality as a team guy. So, we have a chance. Because, without a good coach and a good quarterback, no matter how good the other players are, I don’t think you can win consistently. Hopefully, I believe we have both an outstanding coach and a good young prospect.”

On Jones, Kraft added: “Well, first of all, I’m amazed — he’s such a good person, and humble. … I come in there sometimes on the weekend, early, he’s there working out, watching film. Just doing things that I wouldn’t believe someone of his background would have that kind of commitment, given his past. And the guys in the locker room really like him — all the guys. … I actually believe he has a little more edge than we’ve seen. But he’s been respectful coming in as a rookie. So, I’m very high on him. I think we really, the staff did a great job drafting him. And we’re lucky to have him for our future, and this will be a good pick.”

Jones might not have the immense arm talent or game-changing athleticism of his AFC peers, but he nevertheless looked like a potential franchise quarterback in 2021. Despite the pressure of being Brady’s de facto heir, Jones led the Patriots to the playoffs and finished the season as Pro Football Focus’s 11th-ranked QB.

In 17 starts, Jones completed 68 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. He also earned a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl roster as an alternate, although the merits of his selection can be debated.

Most importantly, Jones showed toughness, poise and maturity as a rookie, earning the respect of his teammates and coaches. He also has a big fan in Kraft, whose standards for Patriots quarterbacking understandably are high.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and senior advisor Matt Patricia
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