Patriots News 7/6: Daily Team Notebook & NFL Notes
Some Patriots News and notes on this Wednesday:
– With the New England Patriots heading into 2022 with their secondary as one of their biggest question marks, defensive back Jalen Mills appears to be working hard to try and make sure he’ll be holding up his end of things. The veteran was spotted recently getting some work in with some notable names, including Ja’Marr Chase, D’Andre Swift, and Leonard Fournette. Mills had a tough start to his first year in New England, with the veteran working in various roles where he struggled at times through most of the season. However, Mills played well down the stretch and is expected to be a key part of a unit that’s trying to move on following the departure of J.C. Jackson this offseason. He said earlier this offseason he’s more comfortable than he was at this time last year, which he feels should help him take a step forward. “Just going over the plays, going over the installs, my mind isn’t wandering and I’m asking a 100 questions,” he said. “Now I’m asking 50 questions instead of a 100 within the scheme.”
– Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is apparently high on Mac Jones, and feels that when it comes to each of the rookies taken last season, Jones will be the one who might lift a Lombardy trophy sooner than his peers. The former Baylor quarterback Tweeted his thoughts on Tuesday saying that he believes with Bill Belichick leading the way, along with a more confident second season for Jones, he’s the “most likely” player to see success in the coming years. “Mac Jones is MOST LIKELY to win a ring FIRST of the rookie QBs who played serious time last year. Bill Belichick and the @Patriots are defensive masterminds, out coach other teams and Mac Attack will stretch the field more after last year has his confidence on ROLL TIDE LEVELS,” Tweeted Griffin III. The former NFL quarterback spent his final NFL seasons backing up Lamar Jackson in Baltimore but was a college football analyst for ESPN last season. Griffin said recently he’d like to return to the NFL and that “I’m ready to go right now,” but also added, “but right now I am just focused on doing the best as I can as a storyteller and giving back to football as much as I can.”
– While doing some digging, I came across an article from the Eagle Tribune’s Hector Longo, who wrote that if he had to choose right now between Jimmy Garoppolo and Jones, he’d take the former Patriots QB. “Right now, today and for the foreseeable future, would the New England Patriots be better off with Jimmy G or Mac Jones under center?” writes Longo. “Would you trade Mac straight up for Jimmy? The answer here, and honestly, it came pretty quickly to me, is yes. I make the deal today.” Longo notes Garoppolo’s winning record and his relationship with Belichick as the reason he’d make the trade. It’s a bold take, as Garoppolo was clearly a victim of bad timing during his tenure in New England behind then-starter, Tom Brady. However, after seeing one season from Jones, it’s tough to not appreciate what the former Alabama QB has provided ahead of Garoppolo thus far.
– Anyone who paid close attention last season appreciates what has so far set Jones apart from other quarterbacks. Not only is he a tactician when it comes to his accuracy and how he delivers the football, but he’s also incredibly tough. When you go back and look at some of the unbelievable hits Jones sustained last season (and he got right back up), it’s probably safe to say Garoppolo may have missed some time, especially given his history. Jones is smarter, tougher, and an intense competitor. He’s known to be ruthless on the field and was known by his teammates on the field in college as “The Joker” for being able to laugh one minute, and then go out and destroy an opponent the next. We see him smiling on camera and hear his laugh each week during his press conferences but on the field, his personality is quite different.
– To be fair, while Garoppolo nearly brought his team to the Super Bowl in January, Jones didn’t have the same cast of players Garoppolo had in San Francisco last season. That aside, I do agree with Longo that the situation there for Jimmy G is certainly less than ideal. It’s been said before here that Garoppolo’s biggest problem was the fact he wasn’t willing to stomp his feet and force his way out when he had the chance last offseason. That being said, if there’s one positive, it’s looking more and more each day like the 49ers may ultimately have to deal him for next to nothing after holding him hostage trying to get a first-round pick. At the end of the day, when he finally lands elsewhere, Garoppolo could go on to do what Matthew Stafford did with another team, or he could fizzle out and become yet another “what if?” player. Either way, the chips appear to have landed in Belichick’s favor. As for Kyle Shanahan, he’d probably be happy if that deal went down between the Patriots and his team, as Trey Lance‘s future certainly appears to have far more questions than Jones’ at this point.
– Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans saw firsthand what former teammate Rob Gronkowski went through and he believes that while it’s possible Gronkowski could still come back at some point, Evans believes it’s over. “I hope he comes back. With Tom and Gronk, you never know,” said Evans via KPRC 2 in Houston. “I wouldn’t be mad if he came back. I’d actually be really excited if he came back, but I feel like he’s done. He plays the tight end position and he plays it max effort. Gives it his all, practices really hard, takes a lot of shots, blocks, runs after the catch. He takes a pretty big beating, I’ve seen his body after some of them games and I understand why.”
– Coming off of two solid seasons, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton believes that this could be the season the Bills’ Josh Allen might take a step back. “Allen could have a decent year, though his development may plateau as the offense goes through changes,” he writes. “If he regresses like Ryan Tannehill after the Tennessee Titans lost offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to the Falcons last offseason, Bills fans can forget a shot at the Super Bowl.” Moton cites the departure of Brian Daboll, who took the head-coaching job with the Giants as one key change that might be tough for Allen and could cause him to potentially not have the same success he’s had the past two seasons.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Brian Daboll D'Andre Swift J.C. Jackson Ja'Marr Chase Jalen Mills Jimmy Garoppolo Josh Allen Kyle Shanahan Lamar Jackson Leonard Fournette Mac Jones Matthew Stafford Mike Evans Rob Gronkowski Robert Griffin III Tom Brady Trey Lance