Patriots QB Mac Jones
PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
SEPTEMBER 17, 2023
Q: Mac, for the second straight week, you guys had a chance to win the game on a last possession or tie the game on a last possession. Do you view that as a positive in terms of coming back and getting a chance to do it or as a negative that you didn’t actually get it done?
MJ: Yeah, I think 90 percent of the games in the NFL go into the fourth quarter and a one-possession game. So just trying to learn and get better from that. And it just wasn’t our day. Hasn’t been our day for the last two weeks. So we’ve just got to learn from it and get better.
Q: Mac, we saw a lot of guys in the locker room, obviously, looking very defeated after this one, yourself included. I know it’s only week two, but how do you kind of make sure this doesn’t spiral into something more?
MJ: Yeah, I think about past experience and my rookie year when we didn’t really start off too hot and then went on a really good winning streak. So, for me, that’s all I can do, is look back on experiences I’ve already had in my life and hopefully the guys on the team can respond. Definitely got to play better and learn from it and, you know, be here early and leave late and do it together. I think that’s the biggest thing. If a couple guys are doing it, it’s not good enough, clearly. So we’ve got to put more into it and get more out of it.
Q: Mac, when Hunter was talking to David about close — the word close kept coming up.
Q: How frustrating is it to be close but not break through and get that win?
MJ: Yeah, I think in the long run, it’s going to help us at some point during the season or, you know, when we all play together. So I think, obviously, it sucks. But, really, when you’re close, you just have to do more, I think. Weight room, film, practice. Like, everyone just has to do more. And hopefully if you do that, I mean, you know you did everything you could do, right? So at that point, some of it’s out of your control. Some of it is luck, some of it’s other things. But for us, just got to do more.
Q: Mac, what can you say about your defense, giving you guys opportunities when the offense is struggling to get things going?
MJ: Yeah, they’re great. Our defense has continued to do a great job in the games. And we saw it firsthand in practice all offseason. So they’ve just got to keep doing their thing and we’ve got to figure it out on our side.
Q: Mac, the touchdown to [Hunter] Henry, is that, like, a designed play for him to release on the route or was that just kind of playground football at that point?
MJ: Just trying to make a play and he made a good play.
Q: Hey, Mac. What was your reaction to Demario [Douglas] not playing any offensive snaps after the fumble?
MJ: Yeah, I think Pop [Demario Douglas], obviously, a young player and just trying to keep him encouraged. Obviously, one of my close buddies. So it’s going to happen. Young players, you know, there’s going to be mistakes. But for him, it’s a learning experience for all of us. And myself included with the interception. You can’t have the turnovers. Got to work on it, address the situation, and then get better at it. So for him, you know, I told him, just keep your head up and, you know, just practice every day holding onto the ball, people hitting at it, things you can do to get better.
Q: Mac, you keep repeating everyone has to do more. Obviously, a result of the close losses. Was there anything during the week that you saw and thought, Okay, we could be doing more before the game?
MJ: No. I think once you have close games like this, it just keeps popping up. That’s all I think about, how can we operate better in the crunch time? And it takes all 11 and starts with me. So got to be better on offense and we will this week.
Q: Mac, what did you see on the final fourth-down play going to Mike [Gesicki] on a pretty short route? And then following — watching Cole [Strange] after the pitch, how close do you think he got on that play?
MJ: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is just go through my reads and execute the play. When it’s fourth down, you know, everyone is trying to throw beyond the sticks. But we had two option routes on that play and just tried to make a play. But, yeah, just didn’t go our way.
Q: Mac, I just wanted to ask you about the challenge of playing from behind. We focus a lot sometimes on those final drives. But you played from behind early in both games. Just overall, what’s the challenge and is it different just with the challenge — how hard is it, what you guys have done to yourselves?
MJ: Yeah, biggest thing is just we’re close. We drove the ball pretty well, just didn’t get it in. Last week, we were behind and kind of scored some touchdowns. You know, and if we can combine those two things, move the ball and then get it in the red zone, I think everyone would be smiling right now. So that’s the biggest thing, just watch the tape and see how we can get it in, make it easier on the defense and special teams.
Q: Mac, what’s the key to not letting this fester and just get worse from here?
MJ: Really, just stay positive and try and work together and find solutions to issues or problems. That’s all you can do, is just come in each day, arrive early, leave late, and grind with each other.
Q: Mac, how can you guys get a little bit more maybe out of your down-the-field passing game? And how challenging has it been with maybe some of the moving pieces upfront with the offensive line?
MJ: Yeah, I thought it’s tough, right? You got three new guys on the line. Those guys came in, played really hard. It’s a tough front to go against. So sometimes it’s a part of the game plan. Coach [Bill] O’Brien, obviously, wanted to throw it downfield, but you got to kind of take what the defense gives or — you know, and things like that. So tough, tough day on the yard. But I definitely want to find ways to get it down the field more to help our defense.
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