Mac Jones ‘plays like a vet,’ has impressed Patriots defensive teammates

"Mac Jones, he's going to be that guy."

Mac Jones
Mac Jones has impressed his defensive teammates. Photo by: Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Add members of the Patriots secondary to the growing list of people around the organization impressed by quarterback Mac Jones — a rookie who plays like a vet.

“Mac Jones, he’s going to be that guy,” J.C. Jackson said on Thursday. “The way he reads defenses, the way he steps up in the pocket, delivers the ball, he’s improved since the first time I saw him.”

Jones earned the starting role with an impressive performance in the preseason, outplaying last year’s starter Cam Newton who was cut earlier this week. Jones’ preseason numbers — 36 completions, 69.2 completion percentage, 388 total yards passing, 97.3 passer rating — were comparable and in many cases better than No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.


Patriots defensive players praised Jones’ poise and professionalism in the pocket, as well as his willingness and ability to learn on the fly.

“I think the biggest thing is when you see the offense may have a play called, there may be a motion or you see a guy flinch where it may be a blitz, and you see him go to the line of scrimmage and make a different type of check,” Jalen Mills said. “That’s what you want to see from not only a young guy, but your quarterback in general. They have predicated call, and he sees that the defense is attacking them in a certain type of way, and he changes the whole offense to a play that helps him get in a better position.”

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