Patriots

NFL executive: Mac Jones sees the game ‘very quickly for a young player’

"He won the [Patriots] job [over Cam Newton] because he makes the right reads."

Mac Jones
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones drops back against the Miami Dolphins. AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Most Patriots fans were understandably thrilled with Mac Jones after the rookie quarterback was historically accurate in his debut — 29-for-39 passing with 281 yards and a touchdown in a 17-16 loss to the Dolphins.

Around the league, opposing team personnel were cautiously optimistic as well, per ESPN. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, NFL executives see upside as the difference between Jones and No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence has traits that Jones simply can’t replicate, such as the ability to stretch the field vertically.

“I saw a quarterback that was instinctive, good awareness,” one NFC executive told ESPN. “Probably needs to speed up his play a little bit, but that will happen for him. He sees it very quickly for a young player.”

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Others saw why the Patriots made their decision to start him and cut Cam Newton.

“He won the [Patriots] job [over Newton] because he makes the right reads, and I thought that showed,” another personnel member told ESPN.

Jones impressed his teammates as well.

“He definitely has a lot of poise,” running back James White said. “He stayed composed throughout the game. Obviously, everything wasn’t perfect, but he kept us in it, keeping everybody motivated in the huddle. Obviously, it wasn’t our best football game on offense, definitely got to play better in the red zone and create more points to help the defense out.”

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Center David Andrews thought the team could have done a better job protecting the 23-year-old.

“I thought Mac showed a lot of mental toughness yesterday just throughout the day and did some things really well,” Andrews said. “We’ve got to do a little better job protecting him at times. I thought he took too many hits, but thought he really showed toughness standing in there and making some tough throws.”

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