Josh McDaniels explains what Mac Jones is doing that’s ‘a great sign for a young player’

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  • Josh McDaniels
    Josh McDaniels
    American football coach
  • Mac Jones
    Mac Jones
    American football player

The New England Patriots don’t rest on the sideline, especially not quarterback Mac Jones or offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. They take time to debrief after every offensive series to see what went right and, more importantly, to correct what went wrong.

Jones, a rookie and the 15th overall pick in 2021, has impressed McDaniels with what he sees and retains from each series when they sit on the bench and review film and physical photos of the previous series. The quarterback has the ability to recall coverages and tendencies from the opposing defense from memory.

“He’s a very good listener. He’s in-tune with what happened,” McDaniels said Tuesday during a videoconference call. “He usually gives me very good feedback from what he saw, which is a great sign for a young player. You say, ‘Hey, did he rotate late?’ (And Mac says,) ‘Yeah he rotated late.’ Then you look on the picture and see that he did. So we always try to tell the young guys: don’t make something up if you’re not sure. He usually has a really good grasp on the series that he just was out there for, and we have a good dialogue about it. He has good answers to any questions that I have.”

Jones’ ability to recognize coverages and retain information makes him a valuable resource for McDaniels as they ensure they’re doing the right things on offense. It also means McDaniels has less to teach Jones when the offense is between plays. There’s no doubt the rookie needs to continue to develop, even after a game where — on paper — he excelled (310 passing yards, 2 passing TDs). But clearly, McDaniels likes working with Jones to help him on the sideline.

“He’s a guy that wants to do everything the best that he can, so if he, for some reason, didn’t have great success in a series, then he’s got an urgency about him and a desire to do it better,” McDaniels said.

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