Some are laying the blame at the feet of Jones, who threw more interceptions than touchdowns and got outplayed by backup Bailey Zappe. Others are pointing the finger at former Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the lack of offensive talent surrounding the former first-round draft pick.
Newly-hired Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo seems to think the answer is somewhere in the middle. However, Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy didn’t shy away from placing the onus on the Patriots for Jones’ struggles over the last two seasons.
“From the outside looking in, I see a guy that played at a really high level as a rookie and a guy that’s like, wired the right way, total gym rat, like football junkie, and there’s not many of those anymore. Ultra competitive,” said Nagy, when appearing on WEEI’s Gresh and Fauria, via Mike Kadlick. “How does that guy fall off? You know what I’m saying?
“Like to the point where now he probably has to go somewhere else and reset his career? You tell me what happened over the last two years. Like not many rookies come into the league and play the way Mac played, so. To me, what happened up there is not on Mac Jones.”
It’s hard to argue with Nagy considering the Patriots had one of the worst offensive skilled groups in the league in 2023. That comes a year after Belichick made longtime defensive coordinator Matt Patricia the offensive play-caller.
There have been plenty of bad decisions behind the scenes that have stunted Jones’ growth at quarterback. It’s one of the reasons why owner Robert Kraft ultimate decided to part ways with Belichick, after 24 years together.
That decision isn’t about saving Mac Jones as much as it’s about making sure the next guy and situation in New England doesn’t end the same exact way.