With their postseason hopes essentially hanging in the balance, the New England Patriots offense continued to struggle in the third quarter of their Week 14 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
Seemingly frustrated by the abundance of screen passes and quick game concepts, quarterback Mack Jones was visibly frustrated. At one point, a play-calling blunder led to him yelling obscenities and giving up on play-caller Matt Patricia after the Patriots needed to burn a timeout.
For the second week, Jones’ fraught form of self-expression has become fodder for anyone excited about the existence of controversy. From fans to beat reporters to talk show hosts, it seems everyone covering Patriots Nation had an opinion on Jones’ emotions.
In fact, during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Tuesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Jones’ apparent frustration with the timing of the plays. “HC of NEP” was predictably sharp in his response. .
“We all want to get plays on time,” Belichick said.
Asked if he believed Jones’ actions reflected his passion, Belichick said:
“Yeah, I don’t know.”
For Patriots players and coaches, however, this is simply a case of the second-year quarterback finding his voice as the team’s leader.
“I think he’s continuing to find his voice,” fellow team captain Matthew Slater said of Jones on Wednesday. “I think one thing Devin [McCourty] And I really encourage him to use his voice more… I think Devin was really intentional about that [telling Jones]”Hey, it’s your team. You’ve got to speak up. You’ve got to take ownership.’ I think he did it. It’s tough. I don’t care who you are. It’s going to be tough the second year.”
Slater’s comments indicate that Jones appears to have the support of his teammates. With each passing day, the 24-year-old grows more comfortable both vocally and by example. In fact, Jones was spotted pushing the team to stick to their routine as tightly as possible despite being on the road after Wednesday’s practice.
“He did a very good job in this regard. It’s great to see him continue to grow in this role. I know we’re going to look to him for that leadership and he’s done a great job.”
Jones’ support clearly doesn’t end with his teammates. surprisingly enough. The likely subject of his recent ire is comfortable with the passion his quarterback displays on the field and in huddles.
“You love to watch it,” Matt Patricia said Wednesday via video conference when asked about Jones’ comments. “As a coach, you always try to direct him in a way that helps everybody get better. … I know he wants to win and he’s doing everything he can.”
Still, the most important piece of information Jones needs to hear is his own. Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon, he sounded like a player who prefers his actions to speak louder than his words.
“I think I always try to lead by example, just by working hard. Always try to do more, it’s all you can do and hopefully people will see that. I know it is, but I’m not a super, very talkative person, but I like being around my teammates and getting the message across.”
Jones and the Patriots face a tough task in Week 15 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Passing specialists Max Crosby and former Patriot Chandler Jones pose a big challenge to keep the Alabama product under pressure and uncomfortable. To neutralize Las Vegas’ speed and power, Jones may need to turn to Patricia’s quick game — or use his discretion at the line of scrimmage.
In the unlikely event that happens, the Pats’ team captain will have to prove himself The A voice in the Pats offense. Fortunately for New England, Jones is well on his way to establishing his role … and eventually, establishing his voice.
“At the end of the day, it’s just about enjoying the game and having fun no matter what you try,” Jones said. sometimes good and sometimes bad. Everyone talks, everyone works together. “It’s my job as the quarterback to make sure that by the end of the week, whatever happens, it’s in place and everything looks good and we’re ready to go.”
The Pats and Raiders will take place on Sunday, December 18th at 4:05pm from Allegiant Stadium.
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