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Patriots Rumors: 'Considerable' Weight on Mac Jones' Shoulders to Carry Offense

Erin WalshAugust 26, 2022

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Mac Jones is expected to continue improving in his second season with the New England Patriots, but it appears the former Alabama signal-caller may be under more pressure than expected.

Jones has a "considerable" amount of weight to carry the New England offense, a source told NFL Network's Mike Giardi:

"This camp has been rocky but there is strong belief that the second-year QB turned a corner this week in Vegas. But as the same source noted, if they can't protect him (that remained an issue in joint practices with the Raiders) and can't find a consistent ground game (a recurring theme this summer), Mac's strengths will be muted."

The Patriots offense has struggled throughout training camp. At one point, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston wrote that the offense looked "distressingly bad," putting emphasis on the offensive line's struggles.

The offense's shortcomings can be partially attributed to the loss of former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who agreed to a deal to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in January.

McDaniels led the New England offense from 2012-21, his second stint with the team, and had a positive impact on Jones during his rookie season. The 23-year-old led the Patriots to the playoffs after completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 17 games.

A combination of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge are now leading the offense as assistants after head coach Bill Belichick failed to hire a new offensive coordinator during the offseason. Neither has extensive experience managing an offense.

That said, it's no surprise the offense has seemingly taken a step backward this summer.

Luckily for the Patriots, Belichick believes Jones has improved dramatically from his rookie season. So, if he's going to have to carry the offense, he certainly has some confidence within the organization to do so.

"I think Mac has done a great job," Belichick told reporters earlier this summer. "He's worked extremely hard. He's got a tremendous work ethic in all areas. I think there's a dramatic improvement. His physical work and conditioning, working on his mechanics, working on his footwork, working on his understanding of our offense, of opponents' defenses, the situations -- all those things."

The Patriots have one final preseason game against the Raiders on Friday before opening the regular season on Sept. 11 against the Miami Dolphins.

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