Mac Jones on Learning Patriots' Playbook: 'It's Not Going to Be Perfect Every Day'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2021

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones winds up to pass during an NFL football practice, in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne

New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones knows there are going to be some growing pains at the NFL level.

Mike Reiss of ESPN noted the Alabama product worked behind Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer at Thursday's practice even though presumed starter Cam Newton was sidelined by a hand injury.

Reiss also shared some of Jones' comments:

"It's not going to be perfect every day. It's hard when you're competitive and you want it to be really good every day. It's not going to be like that at first. Eventually you get it and things start rolling your way. I think it just goes back to following my rules and there's a lot going on in my brain. You're just trying to seeing everything. Sometimes you see too much or whatever. And then you see nothing. So I have to figure out, in this offense, how I can do that—how I can break down the plays, what's my job, what do I have to do on this specific play, and then slot the plays individually.
"I did that obviously good in college, or whatever, but this is the pros and I have to figure out how to do it here."

Jones also acknowledged that the veterans are more accustomed to NFL speed at this point.

"They can do it really fast," Jones said. "My goal is to hopefully be able to do it even faster every day and I've tried to do that. It's kind of like second nature for them. I have to figure out how to do it fast and execute the plays really fast to a level in a new offense."

The rookie is no stranger to starting lower on the depth chart and eventually working his way up.

He began his collegiate career behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa but was one of the most dominant players in the country in 2020 as a Heisman Trophy finalist who led the Crimson Tide to the national championship.

He completed a head-turning 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions while taking advantage of the plethora of talented playmakers around him in Alabama's offense.

While Jones may not start as a rookie, he will likely find himself under center at some point for the Patriots after they selected him with the No. 15 overall pick.

How much knowledge he picks up early in his career will likely help determine his overall success.