Mac Jones explains how Stephon Gilmore helped behind the scenes

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New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones lost an important resource when Bill Belichick traded cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers. Behind the scenes, Gilmore had been helping out the rookie.

“I think Steph’s obviously a great player, and I never got to practice against him, and he actually helped me a lot just talking with him,” Jones said on Wednesday. “He’s like, ‘Hey, I see you do this on film,’ or whatever, so he definitely played a good role for me just in talking with him, and all of the guys on the team have a lot of respect for him.

“He’s a great player, and he’ll continue to be a great player, and I wish him and his family nothing but success, and we don’t have control over that, and it’s not our decision to make that decision, so he’s going to be great, and it was an honor just to get to know him, and we’ve just got to keep moving forward.”

Gilmore’s discontent over his contract, which reportedly lead to his trade, didn’t seem to bleed into the cornerback’s everyday routine with the team. J.C. Jackson once referred to the cornerback as “Coach Steph.” Jones said he and Gilmore would study film together “a lot.”

“I think just in the training room or wherever it may be. I just kind of like to talk to him, and I asked him if I ever was going to get the chance to go against him, and we just kind of talked some smack back and forth,” Jones said.

There will be plenty of opportunities for smack talk when the two teams face off later this season. Gilmore will play against Jones in Week 9 when the Panthers host the Patriots. That should be a fascinating matchup and revenge game for Gilmore — and perhaps he’ll have an edge after spending so much time looking at Jones’ game.

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