How Mac Jones performed in Patriots’ 9th OTA with Cam Newton absent

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During the ninth organized team activities session, Mac Jones looked more or less like the same player as last week. The New England Patriots rookie quarterback didn’t make any glaring mistakes, but he stayed conservative on the field and deeply engaged with his coaches off it. And that wouldn’t have been an issue if Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer hadn’t had terrific workouts in the absence of Cam Newton, whose hand injury made for more work for the other three quarterbacks.

That injury seemed like a major chance for Jones to get more reps and develop at a faster clip. But that didn’t materialize during Thursday’s session. He got less work than Stidham and Hoyer in competitive 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. And Jones looked less impressive in those reps.

We did this last week, and readers really seemed to enjoy it. So we’re doing it again. Here’s more information than you could possibly need on Jones’ every move during the ninth OTA session.

Warmups

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  • The quarterbacks stretched during the stretching session, which is only notable because Newton is typically dancing during warmups. He has fun and gets pumped up during that first period of practice. Stretches were even more boring without him.

  • As the quarterbacks began to warm up their arms, Jones was third in the rotation. For some reason, he didn't warm up under center like the other two. He was in shotgun the entire warmup. But the three quarterbacks warmed up the same throws: short sideline, intermediate sideline and intermediate middle.

Individual drills

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  • When Stidham and Hoyer went to work with receivers, Jones worked on handoffs with a running back and fullback, which included the QB-RB exchange while also working on the blocking assignment for the FB. Jones went to work, largely without speaking to coaches. The drill was supervised by running backs coach Ivan Fears and offensive assistant Bo Hardegree. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels ran the drill with Hoyer and Stidham.

  • When period three began, Jones started throwing slant routes to his running backs. Stidham took over, and Jones went to work with the tight ends. McDaniels spent time working with those tight ends on route-running technique, but was also in Jones' ear throughout the drill, intermittently pausing the reps to share feedback.

  • During kickoff drills, McDaniels stepped aside with the offensive linemen to run a drill that seemed to work on their first step. The quarterbacks rotated into taking the snap, but didn't have much to do during the drill.

  • When the team went into field goal work, Jones spent the drill standing near the line of scrimmage, perhaps watching the holder. He was also chatting with running back Tyler Gaffney.

Team drills

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  • Between competitive 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, Jones finished 6-of-8 while Stidham and Hoyer were both 11-of-14.

  • Stidham led off a ground-game drill that seemed focused on practicing blocking. The "defense" was just a group of offensive players. Jones remained glued to McDaniels' hip. Hoyer was second. Jones went last.

  • Hoyer split off for a 7-on-7 walkthrough while Stidham led an 11-on-11 walkthrough on a different field. Jones watched to start but jumped in after three quick reps. Stidham came in at the end of the period to finish off.

  • As the third quarterback entering 11-on-11 competitive drills, Jones had a nice completion to receiver Kendrick Bourne in the intermediate before quickly finding running back Tyler Gaffney who was not covered and had room to run. Jones then checked down to N'Keal Harry and Isaiah Zuber on drag routes. And that ended Jones' round of reps. Stidham reentered.

  • While watching Stidham, an itchy-looking Jones began to work his hips and his shoulders while observing. In competitive 7-on-7s, Jones went second and fired the ball to Kristian Wilkerson, who watched the ball zoom through his hands for a drop. Jones then hit Jakobi Meyers for about 5 yards near the right sideline. After watching for a while, Jones jumped in for one rep and fired a nice timing throw to Meyers in the short middle.

  • Hoyer and Stidham took charge of the 11-on-11 reps during the 10th period. Jones had to watch. He jumped in late, but missed Damien Harris in the flat on the QB's first rep. Jones took a sack on the following play.

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