Bill Belichick praised Mac Jones as a ‘great person to coach’ after Patriots’ dominant win

Belichick said he's "excited to be back in the playoffs," but added that the Patriots "still have a long way to go."

Bill Belichick Mac Jones
Bill Belichick during the Patriots' win against the Jaguars. Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

After the Patriots crushed the Jaguars 50-10 on Sunday to clinch a playoff spot, Bill Belichick credited his team for taking care of business.

“Obviously a good win for us today,” Belichick began. “I thought the players really did a good job, came out with a lot of focus and high-level execution.

“It was an unusual kind of week with guys going out at the beginning of the week and then kind of trickling back as the week went on,” Belichick added of players returning from the COVID-19/reserve list. “I know those guys worked really hard just staying involved in Zoom calls and stuff like that. But to be able to get these guys back and then go out there and play well, I thought that we played well in all three phases of the game.”


Though Belichick acknowledged that he’s “excited to be back in the playoffs,” he kept his focus on the regular season finale next Sunday against the Dolphins.

“Feel like we made some progress today but we still have a long way to go,” Belichick explained.

The win over Jacksonville was one of the more dominant Patriots’ performances of the season. New England scored a touchdown on each of its four first-half possessions (adding a fifth in a row in the second half).

One of the unlikely stars of the game for the Patriots was wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson. The 24-year-old recorded the first touchdown of his NFL career (and added a second later in the game). Though Wilkerson’s spent more time with the team’s practice squad, Belichick noted how it helped prepare him for a chance on Sunday.

“[Wilkerson’s] a hardworking kid,” said Belichick. “He normally plays the top or one of the top receivers of our opponents for our defense, so he gets targeted a lot in practice. He’s always ready to go when we’ve had injuries or guys that needed to step in or didn’t practice, that type of thing.

“He’s stepped in, always well prepared, knew what to do, has been productive in practice,” Belichick continued. “It was nice to see him get the opportunity today and take advantage of it, cash in, and play well. He also played the kicking game, he’s able to contribute there. Just overall he’s helping us in both phases of the game.”


The Patriots’ passing attack had one of its most efficient days of the season. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones completed 22 of 30 passes for 227 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

New England converted 80-percent of its third down opportunities, gaining 471 yards of total offense.

“Mac’s super consistent,” Belichick said. “Every day is really the same day for Mac. He’s always well prepared. He’s in early. He’s ready to go. He knows what we’re going to be doing and he’s got a head-start on it, so he maximizes the information that the coaches give him, maximizes the walkthroughs, the practice reps, and learns from whatever happens in those situations.

“He’s smart. He’s a good learner, but he’s got good instincts and good mechanics,” Belichick added. “He’s just worked hard to get better every day. A lot of consistency, a great work ethic and really pays attention to details, and has improved in really every area over the course of the year.”

Belichick also explained how Jones has worked well with Josh McDaniels.

“He’s really just a great person to coach because he’s so responsive to trying to do everything the way you want to do it,” Belichick said. “Josh has done a fantastic job with him and Mac’s really I think embraced the wisdom that Josh has transmitted to him and he played extremely well today.”


With the win, Belichick clinched the 20th 10-win season of his NFL head coaching career, tying him with Don Shula for the most all-time.

“It’s flattering but I think, again, it’s really the players,” Belichick said. “Players win games and I’ve been fortunate to coach a lot of good, a lot of great players in that time. And when you have good players, they can go out and win games for you. They’re the ones who win it. I’ve been lucky.”


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