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Patriots Rumors: Bill Belichick 'Extremely Excited' to Work with QB Mac Jones

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, right, holds a team jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the New England Patriots selected him with the 15th pick in the NFL football draft, Thursday April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is reportedly invigorated by the thought of working with a young quarterback after the Pats selected Alabama's Mac Jones with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft on Thursday.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that he gets the sense Belichick is "extremely excited" about getting to groom a rookie quarterback for a starting role for the first time since Tom Brady joined the team as a sixth-round pick in 2000:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Draft Kickoff: #Patriots coach Bill Belichick is said to be excited about grooming a young QB again, which means that he'll probably now coach forever. https://t.co/f9nWllRcFl

Rapoport added that he believes the 69-year-old Belichick may never retire given how much developing a young signal-caller like Jones could energize him.

Brady left the Patriots last offseason after 20 years with the organization and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The decision worked out well for Brady, as the Bucs beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV and Brady was named Super Bowl MVP.

The Patriots were left searching for answers, however, as they finished just 7-9, which was good for only third place in the AFC East.

With Brady no longer in the fold, the Pats failed to win the AFC East and make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and they finished with a losing record for the first time since 2000, which was Belichick's first year on the job.

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Given how much veteran quarterback Cam Newton struggled last season, it was clear entering the draft that the Patriots needed to find a young quarterback to develop and eventually take the reins.

Jones was believed to be under heavy consideration by the San Francisco 49ers with the third overall pick, but when the Niners opted for North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance instead, it was apparent that the Pats would have a shot at landing Jones.

The Chicago Bears traded up all the way from 20th to 11th to select their quarterback of the future in Justin Fields, while the Patriots sat at No. 15 and waited for Jones to fall to them.

There are undoubtedly some question marks surrounding Jones, as he lacks the athleticism of the other top quarterbacks in the 2021 class and didn't become the full-time starting quarterback at Alabama until his final season, but it is tough to ignore his production.

In 2020, Jones completed 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions, finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and led Alabama to an undefeated record and national championship win.

Jones seems similar to Brady in many ways in that Brady wasn't highly touted for his athleticism coming out of Michigan, nor was he always the top choice to be the starter while with the Wolverines.

Brady's intelligence, feel for the game and will to win helped him become arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, however, and Belichick is undoubtedly hopeful that Jones possesses some of the same traits.

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