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Why Mac Jones playing this year is important

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Dec 12th
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DropKickFlutie

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
How important is it that Mac starts this year exactly? Let's try to find out by looking at every season from 1994-2020 (the salary cap era)

Notes – I consider someone a starter if they start the majority of the games in a season.

1994 – Steve Young won in arguably his 4th or 5th year starting and 10th year overall. After 2 to 3 failed post-season runs (depending on if you count one where he want in half way into a game for an injured Montana)
1995 – Troy Aikman won in his 4th, 5th and 7th year starting and overall (this being year 7). He lost in the playoffs 1 time,
1996 – Brett Favre – won in his 5th season starting. 6th overall. And lost in the playoffs 3 times before winning.
1997 – John Elway – won his 15th and 16th season starting and overall. He had 8 playoff eliminations before winning.
1998 – John Elway
1999 – Kurt Warner – won his 1st year starting and 2nd year in the league (at the age of 28). He had no playoff loses before this. It is worth noting that where he did play in the arena leagues he went to the championship game and lost twice. If that experience at all prepared him in anyway for the NFL, or if it was just maturity due to age that played a factor in the playoffs is something to ask yourself.
2000 – Trent Dilfer – won his 6th year starting and 7th in the league. He also went to the playoffs 1 time before this.
2001 – Tom Brady – Won his 1st year starting and 2nd year in the league. No one needs to be told it was his first playoff run.
2002 – Brad Johnson – Won his 6th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs twice before winning.
2003 – Tom Brady
2004 – Tom Brady
2005 – Ben Roethlisberger – Won his 2nd year starting and 2nd year in the league. He lost in the playoffs once before.
2006 – Peyton Manning – Won his 9th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 6 times before winning
2007 – Eli Manning – Won his 3rd year starting and 4th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 2 times before.
2008 – Ben Roethlisberger
2009 – Drew Brees – He won his 8th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 2 times before.
2010 – Aaron Rodgers – He won his 3rd year starting and 6th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 1 time before.
2011 – Eli Manning
2012 – Joe Flacco – He won his 5th year starting and 5th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 4 times before.
2013 – Russell Wilson – He won his 2nd year starting and 2nd year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 1 time before.
2014 – Tom Brady
2015 – Peyton Manning
2016 – Tom Brady
2017 – Nick Foles – He won his 6th year in the league and with 3 years starting before coming in late as a back up to win. He also had 1 playoff loss.
2018 – Tom Brady
2019 – Patrick Mahomes – won his 2nd year starting and 3rd year in the league. He lost 1 playoff game before winning.
2020 – Tom Brady

So now we have some data to go by. What can we draw from it?

Only 2 times in the salary cap era (maybe overall if you give allowances for early in the leagues history) have we had a QB win their first time in the playoffs. Both cases were very strange. A 28 year old rookie FA who came onto a super team and the GOAT. I think there is a reason these cases are outliers. Due to this, we can assume a team lead by a QB on first time in the playoffs will fail. But it will be a good learning experience to build on for future runs.

Most of the QBs who won, won in their first 5 years. In large part due to their contracts. This only supports the value of getting the maximum out of your rookie deal. The exceptions being HOFers who broke through late like Manning, Elway and Brees or low contract guys like Foles or Dilfer. Rodgers won in year 6, but he was on a cheap contract that year due to not playing and still being partly unproven.

Generally unless you get the GOAT or something crazy happens, you generally need a HOF QB or you have a 5 year window to win before your odds drop way down. Generally no one wins their first time in the playoffs. This means we need to get Mac in there at least twice. We also need to have Mac play the majority of games this year. We don't need a full season, but the switch must come with enough time to give him some good experience to build on for year 2 and beyond, historically speaking.

Finally, and perhaps most controversially. If Mac isn't HOF level, but a good starter. It is in our best interest to trade him if we don't win if the first 5 years. Guys you need to pay a lot of money to who are not HOF QBs have PROVEN to hurt more than help. You are better off looking to build the rest of your team, then get lucky at QB with a low paid guy over producing than to try to win without a HOF player at the spot.

Dilfer was paid 1M out of a 62M cap 1.6%
Johnson was paid 5.5 out of a 71M cap 7.8%
Manning (in 11') was paid 14M out of a 120M cap 11.6%
Foles/Wentz was paid 7.6M out of 208M cap cap 3.7%

Generally if you want to win a super bowl you have 2 options at QB. Either get a HOF guy or skimp on the position while building up the rest of your team and hope for a good cheap option to come along who will be serviceable enough, or get hot at the right time. A half measure of paying a good but not great QB in the salary cap era has been shown to be the WORST thing you can do.

I hope Mac can be HOF caliber, so we have a chance to win not only in these next 5 years, AND in the future after that. If not, then win or lose, he should be traded for value so the team can reset and try again.

An interesting case.
Now show me which QBs ever won as a rookie and also show me the long graveyard list of rookie QBs who played too soon and were permanently ruined.

.
 

venecol

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I don’t think there’s upside to babying Mac. If he’s ready then start him.
But if he's not ready, is that babying him?

Also, what's up with that brace? Nobody is buying Mac's explanation are they? He just placed a target on that leg when he steps into a real game.
 

Hyped

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An interesting case.
Now show me which QBs ever won as a rookie and also show me the long graveyard list of rookie QBs who played too soon and were permanently ruined.

.

Marino, Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III (before he hurt his leg), Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Justin Herbert all have done well in their first years in the league. That is 7 QB's with 6 of 7 coming in the last 17 years and 5 of 7 in the last decade alone.

With today's kids going to passing/QB camps, starting with flag football, and getting a ton of instruction/reps before they even hit high school/college ball....it is different. Ditto for improved fitness and nutrition these days....every kid knows about the TB12 diet and what it takes....

Now, I am NOT saying Mac MUST start this year. Just pointing out that a young/rookie QB doesn't mean that they need to "grow" in the job anymore... the only thing a rookie needs experience in is the SPEED and the skill level of the average NFL player (passing windows are smaller, the pass rush comes faster from all directions, and the opponent gets PAID too...etc..).
 

varjao

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Bill certainly leans on experience but Mac has shown to be a much better fit for this system than Cam.

My problem with Cam is

1 - I don't think he can last a full season, he gets injured at some point or just fall of a cliff as the small injuries start to pile up not to mention his previous foot and shoulder issues.

2 - He's a tragedy on 3rd downs.

That doesn't help the team at all, if the mantra is taking all decisions based on helping the team win, at some point Mac starts. Not to mention other reasons mentioned on previous posts.

I think Mac needs to improve phisically and given that idea that the first 4 games are kind of an extended pre season in terms of putting the players into peak football shape, for a rookie he's gonna double his pro football experience in that time, so I wouldnt mind him sitting on the bench for the start of the season, but I want to see him playing rather sooner than later.
 

Ring 6

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How important is it that Mac starts this year exactly? Let's try to find out by looking at every season from 1994-2020 (the salary cap era)

Notes – I consider someone a starter if they start the majority of the games in a season.

1994 – Steve Young won in arguably his 4th or 5th year starting and 10th year overall. After 2 to 3 failed post-season runs (depending on if you count one where he want in half way into a game for an injured Montana)
1995 – Troy Aikman won in his 4th, 5th and 7th year starting and overall (this being year 7). He lost in the playoffs 1 time,
1996 – Brett Favre – won in his 5th season starting. 6th overall. And lost in the playoffs 3 times before winning.
1997 – John Elway – won his 15th and 16th season starting and overall. He had 8 playoff eliminations before winning.
1998 – John Elway
1999 – Kurt Warner – won his 1st year starting and 2nd year in the league (at the age of 28). He had no playoff loses before this. It is worth noting that where he did play in the arena leagues he went to the championship game and lost twice. If that experience at all prepared him in anyway for the NFL, or if it was just maturity due to age that played a factor in the playoffs is something to ask yourself.
2000 – Trent Dilfer – won his 6th year starting and 7th in the league. He also went to the playoffs 1 time before this.
2001 – Tom Brady – Won his 1st year starting and 2nd year in the league. No one needs to be told it was his first playoff run.
2002 – Brad Johnson – Won his 6th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs twice before winning.
2003 – Tom Brady
2004 – Tom Brady
2005 – Ben Roethlisberger – Won his 2nd year starting and 2nd year in the league. He lost in the playoffs once before.
2006 – Peyton Manning – Won his 9th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 6 times before winning
2007 – Eli Manning – Won his 3rd year starting and 4th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 2 times before.
2008 – Ben Roethlisberger
2009 – Drew Brees – He won his 8th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 2 times before.
2010 – Aaron Rodgers – He won his 3rd year starting and 6th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 1 time before.
2011 – Eli Manning
2012 – Joe Flacco – He won his 5th year starting and 5th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 4 times before.
2013 – Russell Wilson – He won his 2nd year starting and 2nd year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 1 time before.
2014 – Tom Brady
2015 – Peyton Manning
2016 – Tom Brady
2017 – Nick Foles – He won his 6th year in the league and with 3 years starting before coming in late as a back up to win. He also had 1 playoff loss.
2018 – Tom Brady
2019 – Patrick Mahomes – won his 2nd year starting and 3rd year in the league. He lost 1 playoff game before winning.
2020 – Tom Brady

So now we have some data to go by. What can we draw from it?

Only 2 times in the salary cap era (maybe overall if you give allowances for early in the leagues history) have we had a QB win their first time in the playoffs. Both cases were very strange. A 28 year old rookie FA who came onto a super team and the GOAT. I think there is a reason these cases are outliers. Due to this, we can assume a team lead by a QB on first time in the playoffs will fail. But it will be a good learning experience to build on for future runs.

Most of the QBs who won, won in their first 5 years. In large part due to their contracts. This only supports the value of getting the maximum out of your rookie deal. The exceptions being HOFers who broke through late like Manning, Elway and Brees or low contract guys like Foles or Dilfer. Rodgers won in year 6, but he was on a cheap contract that year due to not playing and still being partly unproven.

Generally unless you get the GOAT or something crazy happens, you generally need a HOF QB or you have a 5 year window to win before your odds drop way down. Generally no one wins their first time in the playoffs. This means we need to get Mac in there at least twice. We also need to have Mac play the majority of games this year. We don't need a full season, but the switch must come with enough time to give him some good experience to build on for year 2 and beyond, historically speaking.

Finally, and perhaps most controversially. If Mac isn't HOF level, but a good starter. It is in our best interest to trade him if we don't win if the first 5 years. Guys you need to pay a lot of money to who are not HOF QBs have PROVEN to hurt more than help. You are better off looking to build the rest of your team, then get lucky at QB with a low paid guy over producing than to try to win without a HOF player at the spot.

Dilfer was paid 1M out of a 62M cap 1.6%
Johnson was paid 5.5 out of a 71M cap 7.8%
Manning (in 11') was paid 14M out of a 120M cap 11.6%
Foles/Wentz was paid 7.6M out of 208M cap cap 3.7%

Generally if you want to win a super bowl you have 2 options at QB. Either get a HOF guy or skimp on the position while building up the rest of your team and hope for a good cheap option to come along who will be serviceable enough, or get hot at the right time. A half measure of paying a good but not great QB in the salary cap era has been shown to be the WORST thing you can do.

I hope Mac can be HOF caliber, so we have a chance to win not only in these next 5 years, AND in the future after that. If not, then win or lose, he should be traded for value so the team can reset and try again.
That’s a lot of effort to say that generally teams that start young QBs aren’t good.
There are thousands of variables in winning a SB, to try to narrow it down to 1 is silly.
 

Ochmed Jones

Pro Bowl Player
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Bill certainly leans on experience but Mac has shown to be a much better fit for this system than Cam.

My problem with Cam is

1 - I don't think he can last a full season, he gets injured at some point or just fall of a cliff as the small injuries start to pile up not to mention his previous foot and shoulder issues.

2 - He's a tragedy on 3rd downs.

That doesn't help the team at all, if the mantra is taking all decisions based on helping the team win, at some point Mac starts. Not to mention other reasons mentioned on previous posts.

I think Mac needs to improve phisically and given that idea that the first 4 games are kind of an extended pre season in terms of putting the players into peak football shape, for a rookie he's gonna double his pro football experience in that time, so I wouldnt mind him sitting on the bench for the start of the season, but I want to see him playing rather sooner than later.

the problem with newton is when he goes to the line of scrimmage all he can do is point out the mike.

he does not know presnap if the defense is playing man or zone. He can not identify the free rusher. And he can not get the ball out immediately when his back foot lands.

he needs to be in an improvisational offense like Baltimore’s and not in a sophisticated offense like ours.
 

Gumby

In the Starting Line-Up
That’s a lot of effort to say that generally teams that start young QBs aren’t good.
There are thousands of variables in winning a SB, to try to narrow it down to 1 is silly.

Also thoughts based on your post:
generally, teams that start young QBs, drafted them in top half of first and if drafted in top half of first, Teams often gave up something extra to move up.

so that means:
1. the Teams were already BAD teams (in bottom half of league) that got those potentially starting-capable guys.
2. they gave up chunks of future ability to build around that top draft pick.
——> those bad teams often continued to stink even w a good Q or even got him hurt.

Neither of those situations particularly apply to NE. It had bad QB, TE, and WR play last year but all were strengthened and no future picks have been compromised.

While that would seem to argue that there is less standing in way of starting .Mac early; I still think thevshort of it is, Mac starting decision is not going to hinge on a historical analysis, but rather 1: is cam physically incapable (hurt). And [really should be: OR] 2: is Mac ready in the behind the scenes ways that the coaches see.

so it will happen when it happens
(in BB I trust :whistle:
 
Last edited:

rochrist

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You make it tough to have a real conversation when say stuff like this and pretend there's nothing wrong. It's fanboy-ish with respect. The idea that he doesn't need to improve his velocity is silly.

Not much surprises me after ten years of grading prospects.

It's in all of your post.
Eh. Lawrence has yet to impress me. And I've seen him a fair amount now.
 

masterbouncer

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
NFL Picks Grand Champ!
For all the crap we give Cam. He is exactly the kind of player and contract the Patriots should be looking for if they can't get that top QB and their draft picks don't work. A cheap option with lightning in the bottle upside. And I say this not being a fan at all of Newton. Typically if you can't get a HOF player or a solid cheap rookie, what you want is a pocket passer with a lot of talent that has failed to put it together consistently (or stay healthy who is now a journeyman), who has a dangerous deep ball and knows how to shift gears and be a game manager when given the lead and told to not turn it over.
Cam didn't show much of it last year, so he has maybe to improve more than Mac has to in this area...

further you have to have a QB that can come back from a situation where they are perhaps 2 TD behind, not only being "okay-ish" when they start the game with a TD lead and highly depend on the D# to not allow points, because you barely can put up points on the board, since everyone in the league knows you cannot beat them with the passing game because your QB sucks very bad at it...

the biggest difference with the Patriots situation and others lets say Chiefs or Packers situation with Mahomes/Rodgers (who weren't that NFL-ready as Mac seems to be) is they really have very good QB that perform as startes, so they can sit the rookie because the other option is just a better one, with NE thats not really the case, Cam has to show that he improved significantly from last year, because 2020Cam is pure crap it would be a pity to sit Mac behind such an awful QB
 

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
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not as much as Chris Canty....oh dyam...I'm shaking again... o_O
Seriously…I’m not going to be ok for a while now.
Wheatley still stings bc Jamaal Charles went like 10 picks later. Charles was probably a little ahead of time and would have fit right in here. Electric wheels, could catch, few 1K seasons and dealt with a lot of injuries. Still though, Charles on 3rd down would have been nuts. I think Wheatley played 12 games. We were saved by Mayo & Slater.

So interesting looking back, I love it. Darren (0 change of direction) McFadden went #4! Jon Stew #13. Felix Jones, Mendenhall and Chris Johnson (one of the best picks in the draft at #24 imo) followed.

Thank you Cinci for taking Keith Rivers > Mayo. In fact the 3-4 teams ahead of us all blew it.
 

Bill Lee

What, me worry?
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The only reason to not start Mac is if BB really, truly feels he still needs to learn more to be effective at the position, or if he feels starting him now will stunt his future growth.
Or he feels that he isn't ready to stand up physically to the rigors of a 17 game NFL season.
True, yet we see him working against first team starters and he seems he can protect himself, and we seem to have a good enough OL that he isn't that exposed, and his decision making is sharp so he doesn't hold the ball too long. As for physical wear and tear, other guys make the rookie transition fairly well, and this one just came off a national championship team that played a long season and didn't seem to fade.

All in all it seems to me the positives to moving on to Mac sooner rather than later outweigh the negatives.
 

Bill Lee

What, me worry?
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the problem with newton is when he goes to the line of scrimmage all he can do is point out the mike.

he does not know presnap if the defense is playing man or zone. He can not identify the free rusher. And he can not get the ball out immediately when his back foot lands.

he needs to be in an improvisational offense like Baltimore’s and not in a sophisticated offense like ours.
And it's not clear he's good when it comes to improvising either, he seems to lack touch to get the ball to RBs when plays break down, nor can he run like he did years ago.
 

Froob

Independent Investigator & pliable af
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I’d say just go for it, he’s a better fit for our style of offense. Lombardi is big on Mac and he’s likely getting first hand info from his son on the staff.

Mike Reiss is also really excited about Mac. I think the kid is really winning people over fast.
 

Ring 6

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An interesting case.
Now show me which QBs ever won as a rookie and also show me the long graveyard list of rookie QBs who played too soon and were permanently ruined.

.
There is no list of QBs who played too soon and are ruined because it’s based upon playing too soon being the reason and that’s just made up stuff.
 

KDPPatsfan85

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I think Cam starts the season, but I don't think BB will let him start all season. Why? His incentives, if he meets all of the incentives, he makes 14 mil this season. You know what BB will do...

GIF by moodman
 

Jim Beankie

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Good post Bob. This is has been mentioned before several times in different places but you hit it all in one post.

Good QB's are rare. Good QB's on the cheap are a lot harder to come about. Its the biggest cheat code in the league. Maybe by a large margin?

You want to know what you have as early as possible. 99.9% of rookie QB's are bad. You want to make sure you have the right kind of bad. You could argue the best thing about Bill's personality/philosophy is his ability to cut bait. Reggie Wayne, Chad Brown, Duke Dawson, Chad Jackson and a bunch of others. Bill has shown time & again he can detach pretty easy.

Cam's ceiling isn't that high compared to Mac. Recent & past history indicates a streaky player that has had a tough time the last few years excluding what's around him - he's just not playing that well. Put it this way - are we winning a SB with Cam & going 6-10 with Mac? Of course not.

Coaches don't go into a season thinking ... "I'll start this guy for 4 games and switch bc of this reason" ... That's casual and media talk. Coaches are a hell of a lot more concerned about the 53 > 1. And that's not even close with Bill. These decisions effect the team as much or more than an individual player. You don't make or even contemplate things like that. You're not a fortune teller & again you're missing the big picture if you're thinking like that. Now Bill very well may believe neither can complete a season. Which is probably the biggest obstacle for Mac rn between his body & experience. Just not a lot of starts and obviously needs to work on his body. But no coach is saying I'll start him game 2 bc Flores will eat him alive or game 5 bc Brady will break him mentally. That's casual talk. It's the NFL, the guys that are cut are some of the best at what they do and ridiculous athletes. I believe that could be real though. Neither inspires confidence & thoughts of a 20 game run.

It's pretty obvious Bill leans on & prefers experience but we know what kind of QB the team prefers. We just spent the 15th overall pick on him.
I remember back at the end of the college season (I know you'll correct me if I'm misremembering) that one of your concerns with Mac was how he was going to handle NFL pressure after having gotten used to the relatively stout Alabama OL (I think you used specific play examples during the Championship game). I know our OL is strong, but with injuries, that can change in a hurry. I was reminded of this after watching bits of the Patriots' last season after Wynn went down.

Just curious to see what your thoughts on that are now that we've seen him in (so far doesn't count) action.
 


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