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Patriots QB Mac Jones doesn’t feel restricted by play-calling



Guregian: The legend of Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is growing

Mac Jones doesn’t feel the offensive play-calling has been too safe or too conservative during the opening two games.

The Patriots rookie quarterback, appearing on WEEI’s “Merloni & Fauria” show Monday, told the hosts he doesn’t feel like he’s being held back.

Basically, it’s on him to make the plays.

“At the end of the day, it’s about moving the ball, taking what the defense gives you,” said Jones. “If they give you the deep shot, then take it. If they give you the short, then take the short. It’s what the defense is doing, really.”

During his weekly appearance on the radio show, Jones was asked a number of questions related to the offense in terms of its troubles in the red zone, and the lack of big plays. He said offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels puts them in a position to succeed.

“Obviously, Josh does a really good job preparing all of us. And we have a plan for what the defense is going to give us,” he said. “We don’t over-plan or anything like that to expect what they might do, or what we think they’re going to do, we just kinda stick to what we do, and he calls great plays, and we gotta execute them better. And, I think the offense, when we watch the film together, we’re all going to say that. We can definitely play better, and execute the plays that were called better, and we will.”

Jones, who completed 22 of 30 passes for just 186 yards in the 25-6 Jets win, also didn’t necessarily feel he was passing up opportunities, although upon further review, he knows he could have gone deep to Nelson Agholor in the end zone on the double-pass against the Jets, instead of going short to Jonnu Smith. So he’d love a do-over on that one.

“Yeah, I think with that type of play, it’s just hard sometimes to read it out as best you can … it’s a one-and-done deal,” he said. “I saw Jonnu flash in front of me, and got it out really quick. If you go back and watch it, I definitely could have held the ball, and made a look before I caught it to see if anyone was around me. I just didn’t have as good of awareness as I should have had.”

Jones said throwing to the open guy shouldn’t be so “confusing or complicated.”

Asked if he was afraid to throw an interception, Jones said he doesn’t fear making mistakes, but given statistics, he definitely errs on the side of caution.

“When you look at turnover statistics, the team that turns the ball over less usually wins,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s pretty high percentage-wise. … Yesterday, we could have capitalized more on the turnovers we got, but as long as you’re ending every possession with a kick, then things will be moving in the right direction. That’s always what I’ve been taught. But, I think, there may be some things I can adjust, and I will do that and just listen to the feedback I get.”

The former Alabama star was always taught that punts, field goals, or touchdowns with the extra point are fine. Turnovers aren’t. That philosophy has been engrained in him.

“Yeah, I think that’s just an old saying in football. Some coaches see it, some coaches don’t, but from what I’ve been listening to here, we just want to control the ball, and we want to end the possession in a kick,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s going to be a punt. You want them all to be extra points. That’ll be ideal.”

The red zone woes? The Patriots have converted just 2-of-7 opportunities during the two games played.

Jones said there’s been an emphasis on red zone play, it’s more about execution than anything else.

“The field gets tighter. You don’t have space to work with,” he said. “Sometimes that can be an issue, but I think it’s more about us executing the plays that are called, and doing it against tighter looks, and me making more competitive throws. And things like that. I don’t think there’s any big thing we’re missing, it’s just little things.

“Josh has done a good job preparing me in the red zone,” he went on. “I feel it’s more me than anybody else. I can make those tight window throws, and I have in the past. So, we can be better. It just kind of is what it is.”

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