Patriots

Why Nick Saban believes Mac Jones is ‘a really good fit’ with Bill Belichick

"He does a great job of preparing for a game."

Mac Jones Nick Saban
Mac Jones of the New England Patriots looks on before the game against the Cleveland Browns. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t surprised his former quarterback Mac Jones is thriving alongside Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Saban appeared on ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown to discuss the Patriots’ rookie, as well as his relationship with Belichick which dates back to their time in Cleveland. When asked about Jones, Saban said he likes the pairing of Jones and Belichick.

“It’s not surprising to me that Mac’s doing well,” Saban said. “I think it’s a really good fit with Bill because Mac has the same kind of mindset. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s very instinctive, he does a great job of preparing for a game, and can go out and execute and do what coaches want him to do. So that’s exactly how Bill likes it.”

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Saban also broke up the serious conversation briefly by telling the ESPN crew he and Belichick attended concerts together — The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and more.

“Everybody has all these serious moments about coaching games and all that type of thing, but we had a little bit of fun every now and then too,” Saban said.

On a serious note, however, Saban described the biggest thing he learned from Belichick, which was how he defined expectations for everyone in the Browns’ organization.

“How you brought players to the team, how you wanted the team to look on the field, how he defined critical factors for what he expected at every position, and that’s helped me tremendously because you know what you’re looking for all the time,” Saban said. “A lot of coaches don’t define it, so sometimes you get people that don’t fit your system.”

Does Saban anticipate 69-year-old Belichick might be done any time soon?

“You’re always looking at what’s going to happen in the future and you never realize that you’re 69 or 70 or whatever we are,” Saban said. “I think when you lose that, and only Bill can tell you when he loses that, then it’s probably not the time to do it anymore. But all my interactions with him lately, whether he comes here and talks about players or we talk football or whatever it is, I don’t see any signs of any loss of intensity or energy.”

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