Postgame Transcript – WK7 CHI – Patriots QB Mac Jones



October 24, 2022


Q: Mac, when did you know you were going to be the starting quarterback tonight?


MJ: I think we had a good plan, as always, just to go throughout the week and figure out what we want to do for the game. Coach Belichick was very good about communication and felt like I was good to play, and we had a good plan there, and obviously didn’t play well enough there. Yeah.


Q: Is it difficult to be to be the best you, though, when you know that the plan was to include two quarterbacks playing tonight?


MJ: Honestly, like I always say, I just try to control what I can control. That’s my attitude and my effort. That’s something that I’ve done since high school. Obviously, I need to be able to play better, and we do as a team as well. So I just have to lead the team and do that.


Q: How deflating was it to hear the Zappe chants almost after every series or every time he touched the ball?


MJ: Yeah, I think obviously, like I said earlier, definitely wanted to play better. I just have to do better at my job, and that’s all it comes down to. That’s all I can control. Honestly, we’ve got a good chance here to go against the Jets, and that’s what I’m focused on. I’m going to do my best to put my best foot forward. I’ve been in this situation before, and just going to try to help the team. Whatever my role is, I’ll be ready, and I’ll give it 100%.


Q: Do you anticipate starting on Sunday against the Jets?


MJ: I guess when Sunday comes, we’ll know. I just, like I said, want to become a better player and prepare like I always prepare and put the hours in every day. My schedule doesn’t change. I’m just going to continue to do that, and hopefully the results will take care of themselves. There’s some things you can’t control, and I’m just going to control, like I said, my attitude and my effort and come in early, stay late, and do my job.


Q: Were you surprised at the timing of Bailey being put in the game? Did you know the third series was going to be your last one?


MJ: Like I said, I think Coach Belichick had a really good plan for us. Obviously, that’s kind of internal stuff, but I understood the plan and what was going to happen. Obviously, wish we got off to a better start, and I played a little bit better, but I’ll have a chance to practice and get back into my routine. Something that I want to work on is getting back in my routine. I’m a very routine person, and I’m excited for this week. That’s all you can do, right? You can’t really look back in the past. Obviously, the game wasn’t good by any of us, and starts with me.


Q: After Zappe threw the touchdown pass, you showed a lot of class in being the first one up to go congratulate him. You being the captain of this football team, how do you bring this team back?


MJ: Yeah, I think I’m always going to be a good team player. I did that at Alabama when I waited my turn, and I did it in high school. I did it in Pop Warner. I know I’m a good teammate, and that’s one of the things that I pride myself on the most. Whether I’m in the game or not, I try to be a good teammate. We have a lot of good players on this team, and obviously, tonight we didn’t play our best. Like you said, there’s always a chance to turn around. I think you look in the past, and really good teams, they don’t just climb all the way up to the top. There’s a little bit of a mountain that you have to go up, and you might have to stop or go down to get some air, but you better be able to shoot back up. That’s my plan, and that’s our plan. I know we’re going to be able to do it.


Q: Just how are you feeling physically? Bill said your health was a factor in your playing time tonight.


MJ: I feel pretty good. Just trying to put in the hours like I did the past couple of weeks. If you are injured, that’s what you have to do. You have to put in the hours, the treatment, recovery, ice, hot tubs, whatever you can do. I’ve been trying to do that. That’s all I can control. I feel pretty good, but obviously, with time things get better, so just trying to do that.


Q: There are some reports this week that you were 85%, 90%. Is that where you would ballpark it at?


MJ: I didn’t really do the whole percentage thing. You are either able to play or not. In the NFL you don’t get any credit for playing hurt or not, and there’s no excuses. So I felt like I was good to go. Like I said, with time it will get better. Just got to play the game of football better.


Q: Probably tonight at a minimum you wanted to knock the rust off and get acclimated. Were you given enough of a chance to get confidence to play against the Jets?


MJ: I’ve played a lot of football, but at the same time I’m still a young player. Any chance I get to go on the field, I want to put a better product out there. Like I always say, I prepare hard, but you have to be able to put on the field, and I’m going to assess myself because I can only really speak for myself and just do better. At the end of the day, I’ve been playing this game since I was 5 years old, playing quarterback since I was 5. It hasn’t been like this the whole time. I’ve had to face a lot of different challenges. Some people don’t know about, but I just kept working, and that’s what I’m going to do and try to be the best teammate I can be and help the team any way possible and we’ll be able to go out there and hopefully turn this thing around and win some games.


Q: I noticed you ran the ball three times when you were in there in the first quarter. You seemed, when you ran the ball, you were making an effort to get out there and go, that kind of a thing. We saw that. Was that to make sure you could test out that ankle and to make sure that you were ready going forward?


MJ: I think it’s just football. Sometimes there’s lanes to run, and I’m not necessarily a running quarterback, but I’m just trying to get yards and move the ball. Obviously, we get more yards when the ball is in someone else’s hands. I have to be able to throw it to the open guy and get it to them. We have great skill players, a great offensive line, great backs, great coaches. There’s no excuses. I’ll play better and watch the tape and figure out kind of go back to my bucket system, what do I need to do better and what am I doing okay. I’m going to do that again here.


Q: What was communicated to you while you were pulled after the third drive that you played at quarterback?

MJ: I think, like I said earlier, just part of the plan. I think Coach Belichick obviously did a really, really good job explaining it to me. I knew what the plan was, and the timing is the timing; but we were on the same page, and there’s no hard feelings or anything. I wish I played better while I was in there, but hopefully I’ll have a chance to do that in practice and kind of earn that back and then apply it in the game. We definitely want to play better as a team, and we’re going to do that and work together and put our best foot forward.


Q: Overall, how was the speed of the game? Did it take a while to get back to you, or did it feel like you could drop back in and go?


MJ: It was fine. I think you can’t think about things that you can’t control, whether that’s injury or anything like that. You just have to go out there and play. Once you’re out there, you don’t really think about anything. You’re just out there playing. That’s the goal is to just rely on your instincts and go out there and read and react.