Whatever did or didn’t happen between New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and head coach Bill Belichick since last summer seemingly is in the past.
“I think we’re good,” Jones said about Belichick on Wednesday, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “I think the biggest thing that we’ve all talked about is just having a fresh start. I think there’s a lot of learning experiences from last year that we’ve talked about and this year, it’s all about just working together, right? You’ve got to come up with a plan, obviously talk about it, and then execute it. So, I’m excited for that part of it.”
It may never truly be known if Belichick shopped Jones to other teams this offseason after the 24-year-old reportedly angered the legendary coach by going outside the organization for help when New England’s offense was struggling under assistants Matt Patricia and Joe Judge during the 2022 campaign. The Patriots now have Bill O’Brien serving as their new offensive coordinator, and he and others within the organization have embraced the “fresh start” mantra mentioned by Jones.
More recently, multiple insiders reported that Belichick could be on the hot seat later this year, in part because Jones allegedly “is in pretty tight” with team owner Robert Kraft. The 2021 first-round draft pick gave no indication Wednesday he wants to get away from Belichick anytime soon.
“I think he’s done a great job,” Jones added about Belichick, according to Nick Shook of the NFL’s website. “I think at the end of the day, he does a great job explaining defenses and all those things that can help a quarterback, especially in the red zone because it’s a little bit tighter down there. But, yeah, I think (O’Brien) does a great job, as well, just explaining everything, and (assistant quarterbacks coach) Evan (Rothstein), so it’s kind of those three guys that you can lean on.”
Jones will be eligible for a contract extension after this season, and the Patriots must make a decision about the fifth-year option attached to his rookie deal by some point next May. In short, it would behoove Jones and Belichick to be on the same page for at least the next five months or so unless the six-time Super Bowl champion head coach convinces Kraft that 2022 rookie Bailey Zappe deserves an opportunity to play this fall.