Patriots Rumors: How Bill Belichick Wanted Coaches To Handle Mac Jones

Belichick seemed to take a different approach last season


Mar 3, 2023

The Patriots hope quarterback Mac Jones can rebound from a rough 2022, and his relationship with the coaching staff might have to change along with his on-field development.

New England hired Bill O’Brien to replace Matt Patricia as lead play-caller for the offense, and the former Alabama offensive coordinator has started to build his staff while the Patriots prepare for the offseason.

Jones is expected to be the starter in 2023, but Bailey Zappe will get his chance to compete with Jones entering his sophomore season, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.

It’s a career-defining season for Jones, as his work ethic has been called into question. But a more traditional play-caller is expected to help steer things in the right direction.

Patricia has taken on full blame for the offense’s inconsistencies last season, and Jones became infamous for his on-field outbursts that drew the ire of former Patriots players. But Jones’ pushback toward the coaching staff came in stark contrast to what they reportedly were told in how to coach the second-year quarterback.

“(Bill) Belichick instructed the coaching staff not to be too hard on Jones last season,” sources told Howe. “If Jones made a mistake or needed to be corrected, instead of yelling at him, the coaching staff generally took a more constructive approach.”

Howe noted this was not the approach Belichick took with Tom Brady. The belief was “if the rest of the players knew Brady was in the coaching crosshairs, no one was untouchable.” O’Brien took that approach during his tenure in New England with his sideline spats with Brady.

The approach appeared to be different, but Jones has been open about how he wants to be coached hard, which he has been by Alabama head coach Nick Saban and his high school head coach Corky Rogers.

It could be a sign of change from Belichick, who reportedly is not expected to be in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, something he traditionally attends every year.

Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft know things need to improve if they want to play postseason football, and that goal will be determined by how Jones performs in his third NFL season.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Previous Article

Top WR Prospect Praises Patriots, Mac Jones After Combine Meeting

Boston Red Sox catcher Connor Wong
Next Article

Red Sox’s Alex Cora Provides Injury Update On Connor Wong

Picked For You