Patriots QB Mac Jones Transcript
December 8, 2022
Q: Seems like Arizona’s defensive pressure is one thing that defines them, what do you see from their pressure?
MJ: Yeah, I think Vance [Joseph] obviously does a great job. He’s always been that type of coach. He’s going to keep you guessing and put you on your heels. He’s going to show you one thing and bring something else and that’s how he’s always been. He’s had great success with it, and they obviously have the talent to be able to do that and it takes smart football players, which they have, and you see it on film. They bring a lot of different guys from a lot of different places. Just got to be locked in with our eyes and yeah, it’s a really good defense.
Q: Can you just talk about the importance of this two-game west coast trip for you guys as you guys look to get some momentum going as to make a push for the playoffs here?
MJ: Yeah, I think at the end of the day, we are where we are. Obviously, it’s kind of a new season here and it starts with this one with the Cardinals and that’s what we’re going to focus on. We’re in a good spot. We just got to go out there and compete and win, and that’s what it’s all about is whatever we got to do to figure out how to win. Practice that way, prepare that way and then obviously play that way. It’s all you can ask for is putting in the work, building a great game plan and going out there and executing it. Big challenge ahead of us and starts really today, and yesterday and obviously tomorrow will be a big day. Just stacking those days together and then eventually we’ll get the product.
Q: Earlier this week, Bill talked about how he felt good about the offensive system in place now. As the quarterback who runs the offense, do you feel the same way? How do you feel about the situation going into Week 14 with the offense?
MJ: Yeah, I think just continuing to work through the things that we want to get better at and then look at the things we didn’t do well and adjust those or move on from them and that’s what everybody’s doing at this point. It’s, take the things you do really well and continue to do them and then adjust and get better at the things that you might not do so well. I feel like we have a good energy, that’s important. Everybody is all in and that’s all you can ask for, and we got to go out there and produce. We’re going to prepare that way and do the best we can, and that’s all you can ask for.
Q: Mac, what do you feel like you guys do well as an offense?
MJ: Yeah, I think we have guys that play together, which is important. We play for one another and when we do that and everyone does their job, we can do whatever we want. We got to be able to, like I always say, run whatever plays, whenever, however we want to run them. That’s the job as players. And we can do a better job of that, and we’re just striving for that every day in practices. Being able to run it when we want to run it, being able to play action when we want to play action, throw when we want to throw, just be able to dictate whatever we want to do on our terms. That’s important as an offense and obviously be aggressive and attack and score points. I think that’s what we need to improve on, and that comes with not focusing on scoring points. You kind of have to ‘alright, this is the play,’ execute the play and don’t put a result on it, just do the best you can. If I’m supposed to throw it here, throw it there as best I can and then eventually you have seven, eight plays, you get closer to the endzone and when you get down there it’s the same thing. A play is a play regardless of third down, redzone, doesn’t matter. That’s the biggest thing that we’re working on right now is when we put good plays on film, we score points. It’s all about producing good plays.
Q: Does the lack of consistency trouble you? Cause you say, ‘when it’s there, we can see it –Hey guys, this works, we’re scoring points or we’re driving the football,’ but too often that’s not been the case.
MJ: Yeah, I think we just got to break the theme here and just keep working. That’s all you can do. Together, talk through things. At the end of the day, we’ve got to go out there and execute better. When you watch the film in those critical times and when we do that, we should be able to put the points up. Comes back to us. We’re doing everything we can, talking through different looks, different ideas and obviously continuing to grow on what we’ve done well. We’ve been able to move the ball, it’s just getting touchdowns is what we want.
Q: Is there something that’s maybe prevented you guys from using play action more frequently? I think it’s been reported a couple different places that you guys are near the bottom of the league in terms of how often you use those kinds of plays.
MJ: Yeah, I didn’t know that. I think like I always talk about, it’s one of those type of plays that we can run, and I think it’s something that we’ve done really well around here, and we’ve done really well here this season when we’ve done it. It can help us. I think there’s a lot of factors that go into that from a coaching perspective, its protections, where guys are on the field and all that stuff. There’s a lot of logistics that to the common eye, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got squared away. But, yeah, we want to be able to do that and kind of what I was talking about earlier, whenever, however, we want to do it, make it look similar to the runs and it’s what every team does. They have their runs, they have their play action. Definitely want to improve in that area, too.
Q: I remember we talked to you in the summer with some teammates about the streamline system, because the goal was to kind of play faster, get to the line and go. Do you feel like, despite the inconsistencies, you have played faster as an offense?
MJ: Yeah, I think the goal is to get up there and get lined up and snap the ball. That does two things, you’re fighting the play clock sometimes and when you get up there and go fast, you don’t have to worry about the play clock and then it depends on the game, too. Some defenses might struggle with it, others might not. You definitely want to have that operation time, and we always try to push the tempo in practice and then in the game. It’ll be easier because we speed everything up in practice. But a lot of it is just you don’t want to fight the play clock. You want to be able to get up there and be able to run your plays on your terms and the defense is looking at the play clock, too. That’s what good defenders do, they know when to time it up and you just want to try to run it as quick as you can.
Q: When you face a defense like this that brings so much blitz pressure, just during the week, what kind of things do you want to go through to make sure you have the answers on gameday for whatever pressure they’re going to bring? Is it more talking to the line, talking to the receivers, what’s sort of the way you go about it?
MJ: Yeah, I think every week is different. Some teams, they don’t blitz at all. Whenever we get the scouting report and this teams the top of the league in blitzing. It’s something they do really well, and like I said, they keep you guessing, but you just got to go through your reads and take it and whatever they give you, you take it. If they give you the deep ball, take it, they give you the short, take it. No different than any other week, just they do spin the dial a lot and keep you guessing, and they’ve done that really well this year.
Q: One thing I’m wondering about is it’s so difficult to find out what’s ailing a team at times, because negative plays or penalties or one guy break downs that results in sacks, whatever. So, because of those things, has it been difficult to figure out exactly where you are? Like you say, ‘if we took that out, if we didn’t have a penalty there on the kick return or whatever, ‘if we didn’t miss a –,’ all those things. Do you get what I’m driving at?
MJ: Yeah, I think it’s hard, right? The what if game. What if we did this? What if we did that? But, a lot of it’s just the simple things, right? The fundamentals, the things that we work on day one of OTAs. It’s just for me, bending my knees and giving the receivers an accurate ball, like that’s my fundamentals. For the o-line that might be something different and for a receiver it’s something else and tight ends, running backs. The thing when you boil it down, it comes back to the fundamental part of football and at whatever age you’re at in football, you do those things well and you have a chance and if you don’t, then it’s going to be a lot of inconsistencies. That’s kind of where we’re at and it’s tough right? You watch the film and I missed something or we missed something and you play the what if game.
Q: And it’s second-and-10 and now you go, ‘okay, here’s half the book is out, and we’ve got to do this – Well that didn’t work because of this.’ And then you’re like, ‘we don’t get any intel on it because of what happened with one tiny thing,’ maybe.
MJ: Yeah, I think it’s just, like I said, the what if game is hard to play, and we just got to do the fundamentals part better. Obviously, you watch it and you go through the scenarios in your head, but anytime we’re going backwards is never good, so we want to go that way, go forward. Got to do it as players, and that’s what we’re going to improve on.
Q: Just from a standpoint of having a year under your belt now, this time of year, is there anything different, mentally or physically you might not have known about last year, but you can do this year to kind of make sure you’re ready for these last four, five weeks?
MJ: Yeah, I think that comes back to your preparation in the offseason and throughout the season. The NFL, towards the end of the year, a lot of guys get hurt and things like that and a lot of it’s out of your control, but the other stuff you can control, the nutrition and keeping up with your body and continuing to lift and workout and stretch and do everything that you can. Not that we didn’t do that last year, but obviously this year we want to have a strong finish. Just focus on the nitty-gritty, the small goals and let that dictate some of our results. Where if you give everything you’ve got, you did everything you could, the little things, the big things and then eventually, the end result, hopefully, will be a lot better.
Q: We were joking with Matthew Judon about music and I asked him about if he goes to shows and stuff and talking about Billy Joel, humor me, I mean do you even – ?
MJ: Yeah, I mean that’s not beyond my era, but I definitely listen to it and I like all types of music and whatever it is, I enjoy listening to music, so I’m one of those people. Everyone listens to different things, but yeah, I think it’s just a fun thing that people do.
Q: Do you have something that gets you going that you’re willing to share?
MJ: Not really anything specific, just a playlist. I really honestly don’t listen to it as much as some people, so it just depends on the day, but I listen to it all, so nothing specific.
Q: Earlier in the season you were asked about if you think the offense was fixable and your answer was yes, back then. Now entering the final stretch of the season, do you feel like you have enough time left to bring the offense to the level that you expect it to be?
MJ: Yeah. I think we all know that as players, we can play a lot better and execute better and do all the things better. I always talk about you have the things you want to get better at and then the plan to fix them or get better at them. It’s a constant grind and battle with it. A lot of it’s fundamentals, like I talked about earlier, and we’ve got to finish strong. We have the guys to do it, we have the coaches to do it and it starts with this week. That’s all you can do is focus on today and then obviously playing a really good football team, on the road and in primetime, which is awesome. It’s what we all signed up for, so, excited about this one and definitely want to stack plays together, and like I said earlier, it’s hard not to focus on the result, but don’t focus on the result and just execute, execute, execute, until we look up and we did pretty good. That’s all you can ask for. Awesome, thanks.
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