Mac Jones denied being frustrated with the New England Patriots’ offense after Monday night’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, but his body language said otherwise.
ESPN’s game broadcast showed Jones shouting expletives after multiple negative plays during New England’s 27-13 victory at State Farm Stadium. The second-year quarterback also appeared to wave off offensive play-caller Matt Patricia at one point.
Jones’ visible emotion has been the subject of debate in recent weeks. Is it inappropriate for a player at this early stage in his career to act that way on the field?
Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law had a definitive answer to that question during a Tuesday morning appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“Hell no. I love it. That’s what a leader is supposed to do,” the Pro Football Hall of Famer said. “He’s supposed to step up. I think he’s doing the right thing. No one says anything when Tom Brady’s breaking tablets. (Has) he earned the right because he’s Tom Brady? Yes, but as a quarterback you have to step up and show the team that you want it. Tell the offensive coordinator that I don’t like this call. There have been plenty of times, (co-host Jermaine Wiggins), on our end that if we didn’t like a call we’d let (Bill) Belichick know, we’d let (former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel) know, ‘We don’t like this call!’
“As a quarterback and what they’re facing right now, they don’t have a true offensive coordinator, what is a man supposed to do? You’ve got to show that team that, ‘Look I’m the leader. Follow me. Step up.’ “
Law didn’t view Jones’ expletives as him showing up Patricia and the Patriots’ coaching staff.
“I don’t think that’s showing up the coach,” he said. “I think that’s being in the heat of the game. If you get into it with a coach, whether it’s your teammate, we’ve all been there. Do you know how many times that myself, Tedy Bruschi, we’re waving it off? ‘We don’t like that.’ Tedy would just call it (differently) and we’d have to deal with it when we’d come on the sideline. He changed the damn defense (because) he didn’t like the call.
“I think as a quarterback, you can’t make a bad habit out of just being insubordinate, but at some times, you have to step up.”
The Patriots struggled to move the ball consistently Monday night, gaining multiple first downs on just five of their 12 possessions as Patricia dialed up a steady stream of screens and short passes. But they did enough offensively to defeat a Cardinals team that lost starting quarterback Kyler Murray to a knee injury on the opening drive. Jones endorsed Patricia in his postgame news conference, saying the latter “called a great game.”
New England also sustained injuries to multiple key offensive players, losing running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and wide receiver DeVante Parker (head) early in the game after already ruling out wideout Jakobi Meyers, running back Damien Harris and tackle Isaiah Wynn. Those players will have limited time to recover ahead of Sunday afternoon’s road matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders.