Mac Jones Is Our QB1

Hawg73

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I thought about using this article to make another "In Appreciation of..." thread but it's too early for that plus I didn't want to jinx our good run.
However, this article from the Ringer is well written and covers the spectrum of Belichick's master class for building a team, Josh McD's brilliant coaching of Mac Jones and Mac's self-awareness to buy in to the Patriots with all his heart and mind. Written before the Atlanta game, this is one of best 8 minute reads you'll see. Snippets below

There are quarterbacks who are better than others, obviously, but at the pro level, so much of their career depends on the talent around them, the schemes they execute, a little bit of luck, and literally thousands of other variables, to the point that a franchise-saving quarterback is a bit of a misnomer. Quarterback development comes down to so many things, and we understand very little about them. The way we talk about young quarterbacks is all wrong.
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This particular debate—quarterback nature vs. quarterback nurture—is rearing its head halfway through this season because Mac Jones has so far been the best rookie quarterback despite being the fifth one taken in April’s draft. Whether he is the best is sort of besides the point, because we now know he has an early advantage others do not:
The Patriots have a better plan around him than any other team does for its rookie quarterback and, at least this year, are doing more than any other team to help develop him.
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Incidentally, PFF says that over the past four weeks, the Patriots have the best offensive and defensive grades in the sport.
FiveThirtyEight says the 6-4 Patriots have a 74 percent chance to make the playoffs.

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I suppose we should have seen this coming. Tom Brady, the best quarterback of all time, was helped along by Belichick’s understanding of defenses and Josh McDaniels’s near-constant innovation, which incorporated nearly every new edge from every level of football. During the spread revolution, McDaniels met with coaches at the University of Florida, who emphasized tight ends and physicality when defenses learned to defend the more wide-open game they themselves helped introduce. The Patriots understand where everything is heading and then go there first.

It’s easy to fail quarterbacks. The Patriots aren’t doing that. They’ve got a plan and Mac Jones knows how to use it.


Thanks for another excellent share, Chevs.

Of all the stuff that annoyed me over the last, well, close to a year now, some of the most annoying was the suggestion that Jones was a low-ceiling, limited prospect who was carried to success by his talented teammates at Alabama followed closely by the screaming that Tom Brady made Bill Belichick who he is. These two half-assed theories could not be proven wrong unless Mac Jones made really good. And rookie QBs generally need to time to percolate before you can really draw any judgements about them.

Well, here we are 10 weeks into the season and Jones has exceeded what could be expected to such an extent where he has made a mockery of both schools of "thought" and I'm grateful to him that I don't have to listen to that bullshit anymore. The armchair QBs have become awfully quiet, because they now look pretty damn foolish.

Of course, I'm also grateful that he (and all the other fine new additions to the Pats) have turned the season around and have, as I have predicted, turned us into a team that nobody wants to face. Now nobody can stop talking about us for positive reasons. They've given us an exciting, successful team to watch every week with the possibility that we could do some real damage the rest of the way. We still aren't even close to where we could end up with better execution and some polish, but all the pieces are in place.

I don't often pat myself on the back when something I thought would happen turns out that way, but I'll make a small exception in this case.

Every week, I, and the people who thought along those same lines (yourself included), get to enjoy the ride even more than usual because we had to listen to so much nonsense from the media, NFL "experts" all over the web and a good portion of our own fan base. A lot of it was excessive and aggravating, but it's almost completely gone now.

Thank you, Mr. Jones. It's been one hell of a lot of fun to see it happening so far and it is going to get even better. Bring on the AFC iron and let's see where we are in a couple of weeks.
 

Flagg the Wanderer

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Thanks for another excellent share, Chevs.

Of all the stuff that annoyed me over the last, well, close to a year now, some of the most annoying was the suggestion that Jones was a low-ceiling, limited prospect who was carried to success by his talented teammates at Alabama followed closely by the screaming that Tom Brady made Bill Belichick who he is. These two half-assed theories could not be proven wrong unless Mac Jones made really good. And rookie QBs generally need to time to percolate before you can really draw any judgements about them.

Well, here we are 10 weeks into the season and Jones has exceeded what could be expected to such an extent where he has made a mockery of both schools of "thought" and I'm grateful to him that I don't have to listen to that bullshit anymore. The armchair QBs have become awfully quiet, because they now look pretty damn foolish.

Of course, I'm also grateful that he (and all the other fine new additions to the Pats) have turned the season around and have, as I have predicted, turned us into a team that nobody wants to face. Now nobody can stop talking about us for positive reasons. They've given us an exciting, successful team to watch every week with the possibility that we could do some real damage the rest of the way. We still aren't even close to where we could end up with better execution and some polish, but all the pieces are in place.

I don't often pat myself on the back when something I thought would happen turns out that way, but I'll make a small exception in this case.

Every week, I, and the people who thought along those same lines (yourself included), get to enjoy the ride even more than usual because we had to listen to so much nonsense from the media, NFL "experts" all over the web and a good portion of our own fan base. A lot of it was excessive and aggravating, but it's almost completely gone now.

Thank you, Mr. Jones. It's been one hell of a lot of fun to see it happening so far and it is going to get even better. Bring on the AFC iron and let's see where we are in a couple of weeks.
Still plenty of fuel in the "low ceiling"/"product of the system"/"isn't asked to do much" conversation.
 

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Revisiting an article from TheAthletic by Jeff Howe a month before the draft that sorts out the top 5 QBs in the draft from a Patriots perspective.
Riddick nailed his evaluation of Mac Jones.

The Patriots won’t force themselves on a quarterback, but they will exhaust the process to determine if any are right for them. Belichick’s task force includes offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, staff assistant Matt Patricia and key personnel executives Dave Ziegler, Eliot Wolf and Matt Groh. They’ve attended pro days, dissected game tape and interviewed the players, coaches and other key figures from their background.

While this crop of quarterbacks has been hyped at an all-time level, there’s still a major projection element to consider. For Lance, who is as physically gifted as any in the group and went undefeated with just one interception in 17 collegiate starts, the question is how he’ll adapt to a huge jump in competition from North Dakota State. For Fields, athletically imposing with the mind to match, how much of his success was a byproduct of the elite talent around him at Ohio State? For Jones, should the intangibles significantly outweigh the physical shortcomings relative to the other four quarterbacks?

“When you start talking about, is this the best class, how could anyone know?” Lombardi said. “Do you think this class is better than (Dan) Marino, (Jim) Kelly, (John) Elway (in 1983)? Do you think there are three Hall of Famers in this class?”

Belichick doesn’t need to decide where the class ranks historically. He more directly needs to determine whether any of the quarterbacks are worth the massive investment.

And Belichick has an advantage in that regard.

“Bill is a very astute evaluator of talent,” said Riddick, who also played for Belichick’s Browns in the 1990s. “He sees what Justin Fields has going for him. You think he wouldn’t love to coach him? Of course, he would. And of course, he would love to coach Trey Lance. But I think Mac just seems to fit with what I believe would give them the quickest return on their investment in that particular system.”

The Patriots’ quarterback priorities are fairly standard. Make smart decisions. Protect the ball. Throw it accurately. Compete. Play with toughness. Lead the team. Be the hardest worker.

Lance, Fields and Jones check each of those boxes.

“You’ve got to know what you’re looking for before you can decide what you want,” Lombardi said. “That’s where most people make mistakes. Most of the people making the decisions don’t even know what they’re looking for. They’re grading the talent. They’re grading the production.”

Plus, Belichick is the sole decision-maker. While his inner circle includes five other minds, the quarterback call is Belichick’s to make. Robert Kraft is a supportive owner who doesn’t meddle in personnel decisions, and Belichick doesn’t have to worry about other executives who are angling for power behind his back.

Those are some of the chief factors for organizations that misfire on a high-end quarterback – a coach and general manager who aren’t necessarily allies, a coach and newly hired coordinator whose offensive philosophy doesn’t align as it should, an owner who wants to force a decision, a personnel director who gets too political with the owner and tries to undermine a general manager.

Those landmines don’t exist at Gillette Stadium.

“The reason there are so many busts is the sense of desperation, the sense of wishful thinking,” Lombardi said. “People are wishing for it to happen. There are too many people involved in the decision who don’t know what it takes to play.

“(Belichick) knows what he wants. Josh knows what he wants. Those guys know what they want. Then they’ll adapt whatever they get to what the guy can do. They would be different if they had Jimmy Garoppolo. They would be different if they got Trey Lance. They would be adaptive.”

The Jones quandary​

Jones has been heavily linked to the Patriots, partly due to his time with University of Alabama coach Nick Saban, one of Belichick’s longtime friends since their days with the Cleveland Browns.

Jones is a unique evaluation, though. Purely from a physical standpoint, he doesn’t have any elite traits that are coveted from a top-10 pick. But above the shoulders, there are evaluators who have Jones as the best quarterback in the class – character, leadership, toughness, processing, football IQ. He is off the charts from a mental standpoint. Everyone who meets Jones falls in love with him.

Jones is an accurate passer. And while he won’t run away from anyone, he’s got enough pocket presence to keep his feet moving.
And even though Alabama’s offensive line was loaded with NFL talent, Jones proved at times last season he could take a beating and rally for the next play.

“I believe this: we have become so conditioned to believe unless you have Patrick Mahomes or a guy like Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson who can run around and make it look like schoolyard football that you can’t win in the NFL,” Riddick said. “The position is about decision-making and accuracy. That’s what Mac Jones is. That is always going to be the case at quarterback. It’s still what the position will always come back to. That’s one of Mac’s strong points.

“He doesn’t have Patrick Mahomes’ arm. He doesn’t have Deshaun Watson’s arm. He doesn’t have Zach Wilson’s arm. But what he has is the ability to make quick decisions and put the ball on people in a timely fashion that allows them to do what they do. That’s what football is really all about, isn’t it? We’re so much into the aesthetic aspects of football and the fantasy football aspects of football that we get enamored with the guys who have great physical traits. The football graveyard is littered with people who had great physical traits but couldn’t play the game in a team setting. We forget about that every year around draft time because we become enamored with height, weight, speed and arm strength.”

So here’s the question: Did 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan fall in love with Jones to the point that he traded three first-rounders and a third- to select him? If so, it won’t matter how the Patriots view Jones.

But if Jones slips past the third pick, there’s no telling where he’ll land. That factor may also have something to do with how much sway a coach has in the draft selection.

More often than not, it’s become obvious that coaches like Jones more than scouts and executives. That’s because coaches tend to think a little differently, seeing the intangibles and believing in their ability to scheme up everything around him to drive offensive success. Executives – and this isn’t universally true, but it’s come up enough during the Jones research – are typically more focused on the physical traits, where Jones falls short compared to Lance and Fields.

It’s a unique dichotomy. Which team will prefer the mental traits they can’t necessarily see?

“Quite honestly, Mac Jones screams Patriots to me. He just does,” Riddick said.
“I just don’t think Bill is going to get his shot at Mac Jones.”

I don't believe Justin Fields was ever on NE's draft board, nor do I believe Zach Wilson was. Nothing personal towards those prospects, but neither of them reflect his own scouting report on an ideal QB. They just don't. And, Trey Lance, was certainly never, ever a thought by this organization. No way. If BB wanted to get fired, he'd draft him.

Riddick is a big BB guy, obviously, but he likes to drop in comments like that sometimes that make me scratch my head. Run based QBs do not fit in this system. Period. At the end of the day, that's what those QBs will end up being because it's all they know throughout high school and college. They're not going to be developed at this level where you undo those habits already developed. It's not going to happen.

This promotion of the run-based QB because we've seen more and more of it the college level than ever before, doesn't mean we see it as successful in the NFL. Cam Newton and and Lamar Jackson are one-off outliers and neither will ever win a ring. I will eat my words if they do.
 
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Flagg the Wanderer

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I don't believe Justin Fields was ever on NE's draft board, nor do I believe Zach Wilson was. Nothing personal towards those prospects, but neither of them reflect his own scouting report on an ideal QB. They just don't. And, Trey Lance, was certainly never, ever a thought by this organization. No way. If BB wanted to get fired, he'd draft him.

Riddick is a big BB guy, obviously, but he likes to drop in comments like that sometimes that make me scratch my head. Run based QBs do not fit in this system. Period. At the end of the day, that's what those QBs will end up being because it's all they know throughout high school and college. They're not going to be developed at this level where you undo those habits already developed. It's not going to happen.

This promotion of the run-based QB because we've seen more and more of it the college level than ever before, doesn't mean we see it as successful in the NFL. Cam Newton and and Lamar Jackson are one-off outliers and neither will ever win a ring. I will eat my words if they do.
Rohan Davey and Jacoby Brissette?
 

TyLawsPick6

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Rohan Davey and Jacoby Brissette?
I heard Bedard say on 10.30.17, and the only reason I was tuned into 98.5 was because I was driving back down south from attending the Chargers/Pats game and I'd heard Jimmy G was dealt so I wanted to hear what went down as much as anyone knew. As mentioned before here, Bedard can have some good inside info that appears to check out afterwards, even if I've seen him sneak in a speculation piece of his own, where he gets your trust, but then goes off the rails. I've referenced my email exchange with him in late 2018 when I called him on it, as an example....I hadn't listened to 98.5 since October of 2011 when the 2 hyenas attacked Jon Kraft for not teambuilding "more like the Jets". I am not kidding. That's what their premise was as they obnoxiously would ask him a question and then not let him speak. It was disgusting.

Anyway, I digress:

The only QBs who were ever drafted to be projected possible franchise QBs were Brady and JimmyG, and now Mac Jones. I don't know if Sitdham was, as that's never been confirmed, and it was under some questionable circumstances (4th rd pick, possibly not loving him, but liking him enough to give him a shot). Every other QB from Davey, to Cassell, to Kinsgbury, to O'Connell to Mallett, etc, were meant to be developmental, non pricey veteran system back ups behind Brady.

BB spent every day with JimmyG in 2014 after drafting him, which, IMO, was for 2 reasons: To have someone ready in case Brady was mentally checked out in future seasons, possibly retiring with Giselle on one arm, and to light a fire under the guy who had subpar postseasons from 2007-2012. Brady saw this, obviously, so thank you BB.

So, just saying. I almost drove off the road when I heard Bedard's info, because it mirrored what I'd seen as actual complaints I had with you know who at QB playing in those postseasons, where everyone ran in to blame the defense because they were an easy/convenient scapegoat to mirror the media's anti-BB bashing, and the truth of it was, our offense sucked and played well below its ceiling.

I never saw one article after those losses that really shouldn't have been losses, where you know who was held accountable. I don't want to get back into all of that again, but that was the truth per Bedard.
 
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chevss454

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I think Bedard was better when he worked for the Globe. Now that he's on his own, he needs clicks to generate income.
I subscribed his 1st year but found him unbearable and didn't subscribe again.
 

Phil Elliott

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I think Bedard was better when he worked for the Globe. Now that he's on his own, he needs clicks to generate income.
I subscribed his 1st year but found him unbearable and didn't subscribe again.
There are certain media members who have perceived, perhaps correctly, that Belichick has abused them publicly for their stupidly at his press conferences. Bedard, Albert Breer andTrollin' Volin are among that group. They all try to walk a fine line by offering him occasional faint praise so that their hurt feelings aren't prominently exposed, but then just as often they're snarky and sarcastic in a thinly-veiled way about Bill's "supposed greatness.", as they perceive it. They think their disingenuousness is invisible, but it's anything but. Bottom line: they have an axe to grind which makes impartiality from them impossible.
 

ParanoidPatriot

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Mac Jones is our QB1 and not everyone is happy about it.


Fun Column from SFGate.

Cheers, BostonTim
That was a great read.

He's writing what the media and fans in the other 31 NFL markets are feeling, but with humor. Or maybe he is serious which would make that column even funnier.
 

BostonTim

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That was a great read.

He's writing what the media and fans in the other 31 NFL markets are feeling, but with humor. Or maybe he is serious which would make that column even funnier.
He wants the apocolypse to happen instantly so Bill can't game plan.

Cheers
 

TommyD420

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Still plenty of fuel in the "low ceiling"/"product of the system"/"isn't asked to do much" conversation.
Sure, but that's for the hot-takers to worry about. It has no effect on the results on the field. I mean, they said that about Brady for the first 14-15 years of his career, so I'm not particularly worried about it.
 

TyLawsPick6

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I think Bedard was better when he worked for the Globe. Now that he's on his own, he needs clicks to generate income.
I subscribed his 1st year but found him unbearable and didn't subscribe again.
I would agree, although he was starting to do his annoying sneak-in comments before he went over to the journal place he's at now. He always had a pinch of Breer in him and that's ironically who he replaced. These places all have a formula for each guy/gal to use.

He knows the game, though.

Anyway, back to Mac Jones being the best rookie QB (so far) in NFL history.
 
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