Patriots

James White understands Mac Jones’s frustrations, believes Tom Brady would’ve acted similarly

“It’s definitely a problem, for sure, when your quarterback is coming to the sideline and he’s not necessarily agreeing with the play-calling."

Mac Jones and James White were teammates for a season. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

There was frustration all around over the Patriots’ offensive performance against the Bills in their 24-10 loss to the Bills on Thursday.

Broadcast cameras caught quarterback Mac Jones yelling expletives about the offensive play-calling from the sideline. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne questioned the offense’s approach. Outside of the Patriots’ locker room, several former NFL quarterbacks harshly criticized Matt Patricia and the team’s offensive coaching.

As Jones and the rest of the offense have failed to take off the way they’ve wanted to this season, former Patriots running back James White (who was with the team still up until he announced his retirement during training camp) is concerned about the unit.

“It’s definitely a problem, for sure, when your quarterback is coming to the sideline and he’s not necessarily agreeing with the play-calling, or the design of the plays that are being called,” White said on The Ringer’s “Off the Pike” podcast. “There was definitely a whole lot of quick game being called. Defenses after a while, they get a hold of what you’re doing. If you’re throwing slants and pop passes, they’re going to get a bead on it. Eventually, you’re going to have to switch it up a little bit and take some shots down the field.”

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The Patriots’ offense failed to move the ball against a battered Bills defense all night long. They had four three-and-outs in the first half and punted on their first two drives of the second half when they were down multiple scores. In their third and final drive of the second half, they went on a 17-play, 57-yard drive that took nearly six minutes and resulted in only three points while they were down by 17.

White believes that his former teammate Tom Brady would “one-hundred percent” have a similar reaction to what Jones had on the sideline when the Patriots’ offense continued to be stagnant.

Like Jones and Bourne, White took issue with the approach the Patriots’ offense took against the Bills, especially as they were trailing for much of the game.

“It’s hard to play against defenses like that. They are really good,” White said. “If you continue to throw short like that, they’re fine with that, they’ll just break on the ball and let you get that gain of two or three [yards]. It’s going to be tough sledding. Eventually, you’re going to have to challenge those defensive backs because they’ve been beat. They’re there in coverage a lot of times, but guys are making those contested catches on them. Just give your guys a chance. You have guys who can make those plays. 

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“I think what he was saying, obviously I agree with it. Maybe I wouldn’t have done it like him, but he’s the guy playing. He’s frustrated. I’m sure the entire offense is frustrated. It’s not just [Patricia]. I think it’s the entire offense as a whole has been completely inconsistent aside from Rhamondre [Stevenson]. He’s been the only consistent guy on that offense all year long.”

Thursday was just one of the many lows the Patriots’ offense has had this season. They only had 242 total yards and was the sixth time this season they scored just one touchdown in a game.

Following Thursday’s game, the Patriots rank 25th in total offense and 20th in scoring.

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