New England Patriots rookie Mac Jones will be the team’s starter under center this year as the Pats will play their first regular game this weekend.
The Patriots quarterback was excellent during the team’s training camp, winning over his teammates and earning the starting job. In being named the team’s starter, Mac Jones beats out veteran quarterback and former number one overall draft pick Cam Newton. A former starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, Newton was released by the Patriots earlier this month. While the move to release Newton came as a surprise to some, the decision to name Mac Jones the starter did not. Jones was terrific in the Patriots’ three preseason games, leaving little doubt as to who the starter should be.
One of the reasons that Mac Jones earned the starting nod for the Patriots was his mastery of the team’s playbook. For that, he has an unlikely source to thank — his girlfriend. Jones says he and his lady would walk through plays in the front yard in an effort to master the Pats playbook.
“She does a good job,” the Patriots quarterback says. “Most of the time we just walkthrough in the yard. She actually helps me a lot.”
Patriots Rookie Quarterback Earns Starting Nod
Jones, who played collegiately at the University of Alabama, is considered to be a strong student of the game. The Patriots made him the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft with the thought of him being the future starter. But with a tremendous training camp and excellent preseason, Jones is also the starter of the preseason. In a recent interview, Jones was also quick to give credit where credit is due. Noting he is a visual learner, he says front yard walkthroughs with his girlfriend were a big help.
“It helps me to see it,” he says. “Whether it is drawing it or walking through it.”
Jones has some very big shoes to fill with the New England Patriots. Tom Brady led the team to six Super Bowl wins in his 20 seasons with the team and is widely considered the greatest football player of all time. Last year did not go well for the Patriots, their first without Brady at the helm in two decades. Newton started most of the season for the team and struggles mightily as the team missed the playoffs. Jones was outstanding in college, leading Alabama to the 2021 NCAA championship.
Many NFL experts compare Mac Jones to Tom Brady for his cerebral approach to the game and emphasis on small details. While he might not ever reach Brady’s “GOAT” status, the Patriots hope he can at least get them back on the right track.
The New England Patriots will take on the Miami Dolphins this Sunday to kick off their 2021 season.