Top draft prospect credits this Mac Jones moment for motivation

Alabama Crimson Tide outside linebacker and top draft prospect Will Anderson isn’t buying into the questions regarding Mac Jones’ leadership as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Why would he listen to outside noise when he has his own personal experiences with Jones?

The two played together at the University of Alabama, and according to Anderson, a one-on-one exchange with Jones served as an impactful motivational moment for him early in his collegiate career.

“True story: Mac Jones was a great teammate,” Anderson said at the NFL Scouting Combine, per NESN’s Zack Cox. “When I first got there, we were doing fourth quarter, and I had an earlier role. I think his nose was bleeding. He had a tissue in his nose. I was like, ‘Oh, this joker’s tough.’

“So I’m walking around. I’m dog tired. I’m like, ‘Man, this is what Alabama football’s about.’ And he’s walking, he walks up to me and he says, ‘Stars don’t matter here.’ I was like, ‘What did I do? (laughs) I didn’t even do anything.’ But that just shows the type of leader he was and the type of person he was, and that just made me want to keep going even more.”

Jones is coming off a forgettable season with the Patriots after throwing 2,997 yards for 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

It was a year where the Patriots moved their defensive coach, Matt Patricia, to offensive play-caller, after losing offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Las Vegas Raiders. That decision ended up being a complete disaster that ended with Jones regressing and the team missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

With Bill O’Brien being named as the Patriots’ new offensive coordinator, the onus is going to fall squarely on Jones’ shoulders to help turn it around by being the kind of leader Anderson talked about.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire