Mack Jones: No Preference Against Shotgun Under Center originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
TUCSON, Ariz. — Earlier this week, we took a deep dive into some of the numbers on the Patriots offense. What did things look like when they used rifle formations? What did things look like when they were in the center?
The data, courtesy of Sports Info Solutions, was pretty staggering. The Patriots have run more than 70 percent of their plays over the past four weeks with the shotgun, but there’s an argument to be made that the Patriots are a much more efficient offense when they put quarterback Mack Jones under center.
Asked if the shotgun attitude of late was one he preferred, Jones said no.
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“Like I always say, I played wing-T in high school, so I was under center in every situation,” he explained. “In college it was the other way around. So I did both. Then obviously in the NFL, both. Like both. Don’t have an advantage. I think either one is good. It’s all about making plays.”
If it wasn’t his preference, then why are so many guns going off lately?
“I’m not sure,” he said. “You have to ask the coaches. I know there are specific things, but you have to ask them about it.”
So we did. Bill Belichick was asked Friday why relying on the look of the gun has been the best approach for his offense over the last month.
“Many of these decisions are fair [part of the] game plan,” Belichick said. “Questions like, ‘This happened in the last few weeks…’ If you mix up the schedule, it’s going to come out differently.”
“I think we’re comfortable under center, under the shotgun. There’s a lot of things we can do from either of those spots. Try to do what we think is best.”
Is it about the offensive line?
The Patriots have used a variety of combinations up front this season, and they’ve struggled to defend against the Giants lately, as Isaiah Wynn and Yodni Cajuste missed time with injuries and Trent Brown got sick, knocking him out. More than 10 pounds.
Would playing outside the shotgun help this group’s defense, Belichick was asked?
“[Under center] Get it as fast as you can,” Belichick replied. “If you want to get it out fast, it’s in his hands in a split second…
“But, again, that kind of thing, if you take two or three games at the end of the year and put them together and say, ‘Oh, this guy got a lot of targets in that game. This guy shot a lot. in this game. We’ve played a lot of weird fronts in these other couple of games. If you group them together, then it seems to be a big trend, I’d say it’s more likely that games will fall like that.”