He burst onto the scene as a rookie first-round draft pick that helped lead the Patriots to the playoffs and earn a Pro Bowl nod in 2021.
And then things unraveled in 2022.
After losing offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the Patriots moved defensive coach Matt Patricia to offensive play-caller, and it ultimately sunk Jones’ confidence on the field. Those struggles continued into 2023 until the Patriots finally made the decision to replace the third-year quarterback with Bailey Zappe late in the season.
Newly-hired Patriots coach Jerod Mayo witnessed everything that transpired behind the scenes when it came to Jones. While Mayo admitted confidence was an issue, he didn’t lay all of the blame on Jones, either.
He sees the situation as both the player and coaches being at fault.
“The confidence of a player is very fragile, especially with these players now, like I’m an old man or something like that. But confidence goes a long way, and honestly, as we continue to evaluate as a coaching staff, we’ll see,” said Mayo, when appearing on “The Greg Hill Show”. “But you know these guys can play football, like they’re here for a reason. It’s not like we went over to Brockton High School and pulled some people over here.
“…If you were to ask Mac Jones, he made mistakes along the way as well. Coaching staff, we made mistakes along the way as well. And I’m not just talking about the offensive coaching staff. One thing about Mac, everybody talks to Mac—special teams, defensive players and offensive players. We were trying to help him with that confidence, but I think there’s enough blame to go around.”
There was a period when former Patriots coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t even acknowledge Jones as the starter in New England. Couple that with one of the worst offensive rosters and it was a disaster waiting to happen.
Any quarterback would have struggled under center for the Patriots.
With that said, Jones didn’t help matters with his poor decision-making and wildly inconsistent accuracy on the field. This could all simply be a situation where the player and team weren’t as great of a fit as they initially thought they’d be.