Mac Jones has needed to learn quickly since entering the NFL. The rookie quarterback started as the backup, but showed such an impressive aptitude for the New England Patriots offense that he won the starting job by the end of training camp and supplanted incumbent starter Cam Newton.
But the lessons hardly stopped there, with Jones and the Patriots (1-2) struggling through the first three weeks of the season. Unfortunately, Jones is getting exposed to the harsh realities of the league. Jones was asked to reflect upon the biggest lesson he learned since entering the NFL.
“I think just handling adversity, you know. Things aren’t always going to go perfect, and they’re never going to go perfect, honestly,” Jones told reporters on Wednesday. “In the NFL, there’s good players on both sides of the ball, and you know, it just goes back to practice execution and just trying to learn and keep moving forward, and like I said, improve on one thing every day and just go from there.”
Jones operated the Patriots offense in its most conservative form over the first two weeks, with just five deep passes (throws that traveled 20+ yards beyond the line of scrimmage). In Week 3, New England found itself falling behind quickly against the New Orleans Saints, and Jones needed to throw the deep ball more often. It didn’t work out for the Patriots offense, which was extremely inefficient in the 28-13 loss. That could serve as a substantial learning experience for Jones, who is diligent at correcting mistakes.
“I always try to just pick one thing each day to get better at,” Jones said, “whether it’s like bending my knees or like find this on the defense or whatever, so just pick one thing and kind of just move on from there, because if you try to focus on too many things, you kind of are all over the place.”
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