FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones acknowledged struggles as the team shifted to a “new offense,” but expressed confidence things will change.
“I’ll find out. I’ve always done it. I always will,” Jones said Tuesday after the Patriots’ 11th practice session at camp. “At the end of the day you’re going to have your ups and downs with everything new… I think we’re close to a lot of things. It’s only that 2% that we need to fix.”
Jones’ remarks came a day after the offense had arguably its worst exercise, which was filled with numerous breakdowns. The unit had remained on the field thereafter as Captain David Andrews spoke for a lengthy period.
Coach Bill Belichick, who said he is spending more time on offense this year than in the past, has not named an official coordinator to replace Josh McDaniels, who is now the Las Vegas Raiders coach.
Along with Belichick, former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia (senior football advisor/offensive line) and former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge (offensive assistant/quarterbacks) are co-headlining the unit — an unconventional setup that some continue to scrutinized the early struggles in training camp.
Belichick acknowledged that the Patriots have “streamlined” their offense this year, with several players saying the goal is to make it easier so they can play faster. Jones said it would take “time and patience” to navigate the changes, adding, “We just have to buy in and trust that and do our job.”
One of the most consistent problems at training camp was guard failures, which saw rushers go free.
“It’s just a matter of degrading communication,” Jones said, acknowledging that there are also times when he can throw the ball earlier. “It’s different than in the past. It’s a bit frustrating at times, but our offensive line – the players and coaches – are doing their best. I have all the faith in the world in these guys…It won’t happen overnight but we will grow.”
Meanwhile, Belichick spoke at length on Tuesday about how when judging a piece he looks at a “multiple things” and evaluates each through a lens of “22 components, 11 on each side.” He emphasized that what sometimes seems like a good game, or vice versa, could be completely different with a change.
As for Monday’s training session, several attacking players admitted their performance was not up to the team’s standard.
“When you do new things, there’s going to be some growing pains,” said veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer. “We’re all competitors, so if you’ve got a day like you [Monday], you go in and look each of your teammates in the eye and say ‘Tomorrow has to be better.’ You don’t want to go out and be embarrassed.”
Hoyer felt the offense took a positive step on Tuesday and Jones promised more days like this to come.
The Patriots host the New York Giants in both teams’ preseason openers on Thursday, but there’s a chance Jones won’t play because he didn’t practice against scout team looks on Tuesday.
Whenever Jones plays, he said, “If 10 people look me in the eye, I know they’re going to trust me to do the right thing.”