The New England Patriots are off to a 3-0 start, but the team has had its fair share of adversity. Mac Jones is an undrafted free agent who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before he even saw game action. He’s now starting at quarterback for the Patriots and leading them to success in his first NFL season.
The patriots qb before brady is a blog that covers the New England Patriots. It includes updates on their players and other news about the team.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quick thoughts/notes on the New England Patriots and the National Football League:
1. So far in training camp, the Patriots have completed nine sessions, and a picture of the quarterback situation has emerged. My main takeaways are as follows:
After a difficult practice on Tuesday, Jones bounced back with two days in which he almost doubled Cam Newton in reps and the passing offense had its most consistent success. That seemed to be important. Jones didn’t simply appear to regain his stride while adopting a more aggressive tone. It was the fact that it came after what was probably his lowest moment throughout camp.
Last week, Jones saw a change in his relationship with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, he claimed.
“I’m trying to get to a point where we’re thinking in the same direction,” Jones added. “And it needs to be that way every day.”
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Cam the nice teammate: It couldn’t have been easy to be in Newton’s shoes on Wednesday and Thursday, seeing Jones receive more reps and getting a better understanding of how the passing game is supposed to function, from protection to read progressions, timing/rhythm, and accuracy.
Newton, on the other hand, continues to be the ideal teammate, praising Jones’ on-field accomplishments while encouraging others, such as wide receiver N’Keal Harry, who has been one of camp’s surprise stories. The Meshika hat goes out to Newton for his egoless attitude.
Patriots safety Devin McCourty stated, “He puts everything on the line for the team.”
Two distinct offenses: There have been two full-pads practices, and it seems that the team is running separate assaults throughout both sessions. Newton’s threat as a read-option ball runner is prominent — and successful at times — while Jones seems to be operating the more conventional Patriots passing system.
During his visit to camp as part of Sirius XM NFL Radio’s tour, former NFL scout and New York Jets director of football administration Pat Kirwan stated, “[Jones] is not functioning like a rookie, that’s obvious to me.” “He has composure and excellent arm strength, and he’s more of what Josh wants to do and how he’s done it before…. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw [him] behind center before October.”
Coach Bill Belichick provides himself an out: Coach Bill Belichick has said that Newton is the starter, but context is important. Belichick also hinted at a “tough choice,” and previously said that every player must establish himself, with the potential that Jones might challenge Newton if he proves he’s ready.
So, if Jones’ stock rises and Newton’s falls, Belichick could refer to his whole stance on quarterbacks if he thinks Jones offers the club the greatest opportunity to win.
Mac Jones had a difficult practice on Tuesday, but he bounced back the following two days with great performances. Steven Senne/Associated Press
2. Kirwan, who co-hosts the Sirius XM NFL Radio program “Movin’ The Chains” with retired quarterback Jim Miller, loved what he witnessed during Patriots camp. “This is a surprise team on the horizon for those who haven’t been thinking about them, like me, but after watching and studying them, there’s cause to be thrilled that they might be a playoff team.”
Kirwan’s analysis of each position:
3. Outside linebacker Chase Winovich has begun jogging again, putting him one step closer to being activated after starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list with an unknown illness. Winovich did not participate in the obligatory minicamp in June, although he did engage in optional practices prior to that. The Patriots plan to start Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy at outside linebacker, with Josh Uche, a 2020 second-round selection, and Ronnie Perkins, a 2021 third-round pick, also in the mix for repetitions. Winovich, who led the club with 5.5 sacks last season, would provide another layer of good depth.
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4. Last week, West Coast Patriots supporters received an unexpected treat when it was revealed that, regardless of where the Patriots finish in the AFC East this season, they would play the NFC West club that finishes in the same spot in 2022 for their 17th game. Here’s a look at how the NFL intends to utilize the 17th-game rotation over the next four years:
NFC East at home in 2021 (Cowboys)
NFC West (Road 2022) (Seahawks, Cardinals, Rams, 49ers)
NFC South at home in 2023 (Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints)
NFC North (Road 2024) (Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings)
Because of the rotation, Tom Brady may possibly return to Gillette Stadium a second time [in 2023] if he plays a 24th season at age 46 and the Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finish in the same position in the 2022 standings.
5. Kristian Wilkerson is a sleeper: After spending last season on the practice squad, Wilkerson has established himself as a guy who wasn’t on many early Patriots roster predictions but has placed himself in a strong position to stay. As an undrafted free agent out of Southeast Missouri State, the 6-foot-1, 201-pound wide receiver made his NFL debut with the Tennessee Titans in 2020. Wilkerson has been working one-on-one with special teams captain Matthew Slater at practice after receiving an uninvited mention from receivers coach Mick Lombardi last week.
6. Tedy Bruschi is a member of the Bruschi family… Pioli, Scott… Patrick Chung is a well-known… Willie McGinest is a character in the film Willie McGinest. Because of Belichick’s durability and staying power (he’s currently in his 21st season as Patriots coach), players and employees from earlier in his career are returning to camp as welcome on-field visitors. After one practice, Bruschi even spent time teaching Perkins.
7. Belichick praised the team’s personnel department’s cooperation throughout the pre-draft process, but he admitted that certain things were done differently when previous director of player personnel Nick Caserio left to become the Houston Texans’ general manager. Here’s a rundown of the new titles at the top of the masthead:
Director of Player Personnel, Dave Ziegler (from assistant)
College scouting director Matt Groh (from national scout)
Pro scouting director Steve Cargile (from assistant)
Brian Smith is in charge of personnel (from college scouting coordinator)
Eliot Wolf retains the same title as 2020 — scouting consultant. And congratulations are also in order for Camren Williams — the son of former Patriots defensive lineman Brent Williams — who has elevated from area scout to national scout.
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8. Last week, when the club brought in former Major League Baseball outfielder Dylan Cozens from Arizona for a workout, Ziegler and the personnel department demonstrated their diligence. Cozens announced his transition from baseball to football on Twitter on June 22, and his session with the Patriots — in which he ran exercises as a tight end — was his first with an NFL club. Another reminder that the Patriots scout the nation for talent and turn over every stone. Cozens, 27, was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization for eight years, reaching the majors in 2018 and appearing in 26 games.
9. Mayo’s ambitions: Former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo is in his third season as a member of Belichick’s coaching staff, and he has already auditioned for one head coaching position, in Philadelphia last summer. He seems to be on the fast track in that regard.
After an eight-year playing career with the club, Mayo, 35, moved into business, but he is now fully committed to coaching.
“I certainly have ambitions to be a head coach,” he stated this week, adding that he is completely focused on the Patriots in 2021. “That is the objective; I know I can accomplish it; all I have to do now is wait for my opportunity to come true.”
10. Did You Know? Last season, cornerback J.C. Jackson had the most takeaways in Belichick’s career (nine interceptions, two fumble recoveries), surpassing Asante Samuel’s ten in 2006 and Kyle Arrington’s eight in 2011. In terms of interceptions, Ron Hall set the club record with 11 in a single season in 1964.
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