TUCSON, Ariz. — As the Patriots walked off the University of Arizona practice field Wednesday, New England’s young leader had a message for his teammates.
Just because the Patriots aren’t back home in Foxborough, Mass. this week, quarterback Mack Jones pointed out, doesn’t mean they have to approach Sunday’s vital game against the Las Vegas Raiders any differently.
The post-practice reminder was another example of the more vocal leadership role Jones, a first-time team captain, has taken on in his second NFL season.
“I’m not going to lie, obviously we’re going to get a result this week,” longtime special teams captain Matthew Slater said after practice outside Arizona Stadium. “You ask what will make this week a success, it will be winning the game. But I think to do that, it’s going to be about preparation, and Mack said this (Wednesday) — trying to keep our routine as close to normal as possible. Be it on the training ground, in the meeting room, in recovery.
“We’re not on vacation and it’s easy to fall into that when you’re away from home. So hopefully we do our best and they translate the game on Sunday. “
Jones “reciprocated that sentiment with the boys,” Slater said. Third-year quarterback Josh Uche appreciated the QB’s words.
“I really love it,” Uche said. “You definitely want a guy who cares about the game and takes it very seriously. He puts it all together, he carries it on his arm, and I can respect that.”