Jonnu Smith discusses improved chemistry with Mac Jones

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New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith scored two touchdowns in a three-plan span on Friday, and reignited the discussion about a comeback year for the tight end.

After an eight-touchdown, 448-yard season with the Tennessee Titans in 2020, Smith struggled to get footing in New England in 2021 and finished with just 294 yards and a touchdown — a stat line that looks even worse when compared to his contract (four years, $50 million).

There’s reason for optimism on a number of levels for Smith, however. And the first reason is that he’s been impressive at training camp, with quarterback Mac Jones showing an increased amount of trust in the tight end.

“That’s what we had the offseason for,” Smith said when asked about his improved chemistry with Jones. “That comes with time. Learning each other. Knowing each other. We all have to continue to work to be all on the same page.”

 

Smith said that, in his second year with the Patriots, he has come to feel more comfortable in the offense with Jones. The offense has also undergone a small transformation with the Patriots coaching staff streamlining and simplifying it. The idea is that it will help their playmakers play faster. That could give Smith a boost, too.

He pointed out he will ultimately have to execute the routes, the play, the playbook and the game plan. He has to do what he’s told.

But then he faced a question about managing the expectations of playing under such a large contract — and managing the pressures of that contract after a lackluster first year.

“I love football,” Smith said. “I got here by just loving football, loving my teammates, loving the guys around me. All that stuff (with the contract) just comes with it. We didn’t grow up playing in our backyard thinking about contracts. You know what I mean? We just played because we loved the game.”

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire