If you ask Michael Lombardi, poor play on the field might not be the only reason why Mac Jones is falling out of favor with the Patriots.
Lombardi, an assistant to New England’s coaching staff from 2014 to 2016, believes unlikability also is hurting Jones. The NFL analyst sees “no sense of energy” from Patriots players in support of Jones, who Lombardi believes “blames everybody through his body language, through his mechanics.”
The longtime NFL staffer went as far as comparing Jones to Carson Wentz, a talented quarterback who endured a rapid decline in the league seemingly due in part to the way he was received by teammates.
Bailey ZappeNE – QB
“Nobody wants to hang out with Mac Jones,” Lombardi said on his “GM Shuffle” podcast, as transcribed by Boston.com. “Nobody wants to hang out with him. You can see it on these teams. So when you see a bad quarterback like (Tommy) DeVito — they’ll hang out with him. They’ll go over to his house and have chicken parm. Like, they like him. He’s no good — they like him, though. And I think that’s where we lose sight of it a little bit when we’re evaluating these quarterbacks. Because what is the likability of the player?”
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A recent report claiming Jones has lost the “vast majority” of New England’s locker room certainly strengthens Lombardi’s case. That said, the 2021 first-rounder routinely has received public support from teammates, including after his demotion heading into Week 13.
Fortunately for Jones, he probably will be able to wipe the slate completely clean next season. An NFL insider believes there’s only a 20% chance the Alabama product returns to the Patriots next season.
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