Bill Belichick: Mac Jones has ‘dramatically improved’ – AL.com | Hot Mobile Press

A day before New England’s first practice at training camp, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said quarterback Mac Jones has “improved dramatically” as the former Alabama All-American heads into his second NFL season.

“I think Mac did a great job,” Belichick said Tuesday. “He worked extremely hard. He has a tremendous work ethic. I think there’s a dramatic improvement in all areas – his physical work and conditioning, working on his mechanics, working on his footwork, working on his understanding of our offense, opposing defense, situations, all those things. We have talked about all of these things to varying degrees, emphasizing some more than others, and emphasis on some other things may come later. Can’t do everything at once, but he’s worked hard.

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“He’s made tremendous progress. He did a great job last year but he’s starting this year from a much, much higher point than last year. His off-season work has been significant and I think everyone can see how well he’s preparing and how much further he’s been than a year ago.”

Jones joined the Patriots as the 15th player selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jones got the first job over acting Cam Newton and made the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team, finished second to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and played in the pro -Bowl.

Jones completed 352 of 521 passes for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as New England qualified as a wildcard team for the postseason.

Belichick said Jones would “have an impact” as the Patriots’ offense begins to take shape at training camp.

“We’re just a lot further forward in the conversation,” Belichick said. “The plays we’re talking about, or the concepts we’re talking about, Mac has done before, and it’s easy for him to say, ‘Well, are we going to do that with this? Are we going to do this on something else? What do you think of splitting them up a little further? you share a bit tighter?’ suggestions like this. Something like this happens again and again. Now it depends on the background of the experience to do it. He might have had some of the same questions last year but without really having the full knowledge that he has this year and so he’s just a lot further on in the conversation.

“And we have a much better sense of what he’s capable of, what his strengths are and how we’re trying to play to those. He’s self-confident too. He knows what he’s good at and we want to try to show that. But there are also things we can work on to improve. We can all improve in certain areas and that’s why we’ve identified a few of them. He’s been working very hard on them and hopefully these will get better. And I’m sure they will because he put the time and work into it. It’s not really different, it’s just a lot more advanced, that’s all.

“And I’m not saying we’re already there. I’m definitely not saying that. We’re still a long way from where we want or need to be, but we’re definitely making progress.”

TIED TOGETHER: MAC JONES: “HIS STOMACH IS GONE”

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left New England in January to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Joe Judge, a former Alabama assistant who was the New York Giants head coach for the past two seasons, is listed as the Patriots quarterbacks coach, but New England has no recognized offensive coordinator.

“We’re not really big into titles and all that,” Belichick said, “so I think everyone — it’s important that we all work together and make a good end product, so we’re going to try to do that.” We have always done that.”

McDaniels named the games for Jones last season. On Tuesday, Belichick declined to find out who would call the Patriots’ games in 2022.

“Look, I’m the head coach,” Belichick said. “Ultimately, I’m responsible for everything, so just leave it at that. That’s it.”

New England will start the regular season on August 11 with their three preseason games against the Giants and September 11 with the Miami Dolphins.

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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.

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