Patriots QB Mac Jones' Leadership 'Just at Another Level Now,' Says Kendrick Bourne

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 5, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 06: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots warms up before the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl at Allegiant Stadium on February 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mac Jones isn't just stepping up in the weight room. New England Patriots wideout Kendrick Bourne raved about the second-year quarterback's improvement as a leader during offseason workouts.

"It's just at another level now," Bourne told ESPN's Mike Reiss. "He's more comfortable, more confident. He knows what's going on, and the muscle memory is there [from having gone through it]—OTAs, then camp and the season. He's just more locked in, more secure in his position."

Jones' leadership has been so impressive that he's reportedly a candidate to become a team captain heading into his second season. Jerod Mayo and Devin McCourty are the only other players who have captained the team in their second season under Bill Belichick.

"He connects with all the players really well. I'm proud of that dude, because it's not easy," Bourne said. "Going into his second year after having a year like that, it's going to be a challenge, but he's a guy that likes challenges, like all of us in that Patriot building."

Jones threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns against 13 interceptions during his rookie season, leading the Patriots to a wild-card berth. He finished second behind Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase in Rookie of the Year voting and was one of only four players to receive a vote.

While Jones has a long way to go in filling the Grand Canyon-sized shoes of Tom Brady, the Alabama product showed poise in the pocket and accuracy on his passes that make him a strong fit for Belichick's system.

The Patriots will need a major step up in terms of big plays and a cutdown on interceptions for Jones to become a bonafide franchise star, but he's making all of the right moves thus far.