It’s been a long season for quarterback Mack Jones, who is heading into Week 16 coming off the worst performance of his NFL career.
To make matters even more difficult, he faces three critical matches that will make or break his season. New England Patriots.
Obviously, the 2022 season did not go according to plan. Bill Belichick’s decision to change the offense this offseason and put Matt Patricia and Joe Judge in charge of things clearly backfired, and as a result, Jones bounced back badly before seemingly bouncing back.
Those hoping for improvement each week have instead watched him slide backwards, with Belichick visibly frustrated as he spends his time at the podium, constantly pointing to the fact that they just need to keep working on their performance.
However, each outing seems to be an exercise in which he and his quarterback bang their heads against the wall hoping for different results.
Meanwhile, Jones continues to say the right things during press conferences, but his actions on the field clearly reveal a disconnect between him and the coaching staff. Obviously, anyone watching the last few weeks knows things aren’t going well, and Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston believes the way things have played out, enough damage has been done to damage the trust between Belichick and his quarterback.
“Bill Belichick’s going to make a call and prepare by the end of the season, ‘How are we going to move forward?'” Curran said Tuesday during an appearance on WEEI With Andy Gresh and Andy Hart. “What is our cure for the trust issues that contributed to the decisions that were made, the dysfunctional crime, the decisions that were made that put Matt Patricia and Joe Judge in positions they weren’t ready for and overstretched them to other jobs?” Patricia, in particular. What’s the medicine, Bill?”
“So to me, he can say — and I doubt he will, given the way things are going — ‘Let’s put it behind us because we’ve got some momentum. It evaporated.”
“So the chance of them coming back that way is very limited. But I still think Bill Belichick, because of what you mentioned, can’t fire everyone. Bill understands logistics, nutrition, roads and facilities, scheduling, training camp, facilities and all of that.”
“Are you throwing the baby out with the bathwater because of a monumental miscalculation about how good the coaching staff is going to be?” I think in some cases, you. If it was Matt Riley, if it was Sean McVay, you can say, “Yeah, he didn’t get it.” But Bill, I think it’s very hard to throw the baby out with the bath water until you hear his explanation and his plan.
Curran was then asked who will be here longer, Jones or Belichick? While he believes it’s kind of a stretch, he still feels like some confidence has been lost since what we saw with Jones, which will definitely make it difficult going forward.
“What’s interesting is what happened, and I just finished talking to Phil Perry about it on our Patriots Talk PodcastWhat Mac is doing right now is really eroding Billy’s trust in him,” Curran said. “Billy lives on the chain of command, on respect for authority, it’s a cardinal rule for him. And what Mack is doing now is ruining the trust that Mack won’t take the back stairs, even symbolically. Because Robert Kraft can’t watch the gestures and the historic plays on the field and see what happened on first-and-goal the other day and not go to Mac at some point and say, “So what’s going on here?” And in that conversation, whether he says it or not, Bill Belichick will understand that Mack is showing either him, his decision, or everything about Bill.
“So that’s what Mack has created here with his history and the idea that we have to take more control of the offense. He makes an enemy of Bill Belichick. This is bad? Does Bill deserve it, given the decisions he’s made and the position he’s put Mac in this year? You can do it, but is it reasonable? So I don’t know who lasts longer in this case. “
Given these comments, it certainly adds some extra intrigue to the last few weeks. Obviously, they say a win cures all, but if things go badly and Jones has one or more outs like Sunday, it’s also possible things could reach a tipping point where the two sides could potentially split this season.
Jones likely wasn’t happy that he didn’t get public support from his coach when he got hurt, and Belichick likely isn’t happy about his recent on-field antics toward the coaching staff.
Needless to say, something’s got to give, and Curran believes some of that could start this week.
“There’s an erosion of ‘Bill knows what’s best, I don’t want to upset Bill,’ which Mac is kind of getting behind, and for good reason,” Curran said. “They haven’t put him in the best position to succeed.”
“They put him in bad positions. But I think when you see players react like Mack breaks the first goal and Bill doesn’t check it, I think this is the week he checks it.”