What does the Patriots’ 2023 offseason signify for Mac Jones?
With the New England Patriots needing a ton of improvement on offense after an abysmal 2022 performance, they started the offseason by upgrading the offensive staff with Bill O’Brien at coordinator, Adrian Klemm at offensive line coach and Will Lawing as tight ends coach.
The Patriots made it clear they wanted to see improvements, along with making an unspoken admittance they didn’t do right by Mac Jones in 2022 with experimenting on offense.
Fast forward to the offseason as a whole, and the Patriots added tackle depth, replaced Jakobi Meyers with Juju Smith-Schuster, added James Robinson and Mike Gesicki and had a very good draft that addressed some key areas across the team.
One thing is unclear for a lot of Patriot fans: Is this signifying faith or a lack of faith in Jones?
The answer for me is that they have faith in Jones.
They improved the offensive line and took real capital to do so by adding veteran tackles and three early Day 3 picks on interior offensive linemen. I mentioned in another article that Cole Strange could move to tackle, but regardless, the Patriots realistically have seven starters on the roster right now. They should see an improved product with an actual offensive line coach in Klemm.
The Patriots got more explosive on offense with Smith-Schuster, who is an upgrade over Meyers. They added James Robinson, who is an upgrade over Damien Harris, when healthy due to his higher pass-catching upside. They added Mike Gesicki, who is a slot/tight end hybrid that will be an immediate upgrade over Jonnu Smith.
They also added a shifty playmaking slot receiver in rookie sixth-round pick Demario Douglas and a first-round talent in Kayshon Boutte in the draft to come in and compete with 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton.
The Patriots added competition at every level of the roster, which in turn is a significant level of endorsement for Jones. Bill Belichick has never been outspoken, but he is giving Jones the tools for Year 3 in his way.
These things will take time to work out, but last year, the Patriots seemingly stayed put on offense without making many additions across the board. Fans wanted more for Jones’ development, most notably a real offensive coordinator.
The Patriots seemingly accepted their mistakes and are working to improve for 2023 by adding good football players that fit their offense and scheme across the board. This training camp will be huge, as there are a ton of mainstays that I could see Belichick moving on from, if they’re the wrong fit for the new-look offense. I truly think O’Brien will have a say in those decisions come cut down time.
Although they went defense in the first three rounds, they did it to continue their defensive pipeline in a loaded AFC and to keep up while the offense gets up to speed. With Bill O’Brien, a new-look offensive line, and some new weapons for Jones, there is a chance that the Patriots will prove a lot of people wrong record-wise.
Their defense, special teams and offense are all better, and as much as offense is a priority over the others, they managed to improve all over the board.
If the Patriots didn’t believe in Jones, they would have traded up for a new quarterback and moved on from him. Right now would have been the time to do so. If they didn’t believe in him, they would have aggressively approached Lamar Jackson or Aaron Rodgers prior to their new teams.
The Patriots will surprise a lot of teams, and the keys are in Jones’ hands for a bounce-back 2023 season.
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