Boomer Esiason talks Mac Jones, Tom Brady’s potential return

"There's going to be so much more asked of [Mac Jones] this coming year."

Mac Jones Pro Bowl Patriots
AFC quarterback Mac Jones of the New England Patriots throws a pass in the Pro Bowl. (AP Photo/David Becker)
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Like it or not, the expectation bar for Mac Jones’s second season with the Patriots is likely about to be a whole lot higher thanks to what Joe Burrow just did in leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl. But Jones faces a new obstacle as he tries to make his Year 2 “leap”: the loss of a bevy of offensive coaches, including offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels.

The longtime New England play-caller’s departure, along with wide receivers coach Mick Lombardi, to the Raiders will result in major shakeups for the team’s offensive coaching staff. WFAN host, CBS NFL analyst and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason said the change around Jones is far from ideal going into a critical year.


“It could [hurt him],” Esiason told WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday morning after recapping the Super Bowl.

The Patriots have brought back Joe Judge as an offensive assistant who will ostensibly help with play-calling and coordinator duties following the loss of McDaniels. But Lombardi, who was discussed as a candidate to fulfill some offensive coordinator responsibilities, went with McDaniels to Las Vegas, taking the Raiders’ OC job. New England offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo also left to join his colleagues out west.

Though Esiason spoke well of Judge as a coach, despite his issues leading the New York Giants, the ex-quarterback said losing McDaniels is a big deal.

“Any time you lose an offensive coordinator — like [Buffalo’s] Josh Allen’s losing his offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll — you lose these guys, they’re a big part of who you are as a player. They know your personality, they know how to call the plays,” Esiason said.

The bright side, he added, was that Belichick remains in place to steer the offensive philosophy and may even take on an increased role in running the show. Additionally, Jones being split from McDaniels relatively early in their relationship together could be seen in a positive light, according to Esiason: “it wasn’t like he had four or five years, and now all of a sudden you’re pulling that offensive coordinator away from him.”


But this fact remains: Year 2 will demand more of Jones. Though the rookie quarterback downplayed the significance of changing coordinators last week, Esiason suggested it won’t make things easier for him.

“I’m sure the message will be the same that he was taught last year, but there’s going to be so much more asked of him this coming year,” he said of Jones. “Now he has to be the reason they’re winning as opposed to just managing the game from a rookie standpoint.”

Esiason also had a prediction regarding former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after being asked whether he thought Brady would be on the field Week 1 of the 2022 season.

“I bet $50 that he was retiring before the AFC Championship game. I won my $50 of course and I really don’t want to give it back,” he said, “but I think he’s coming back.”


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