Patriots Insider: Collective “Rolling of Eyes” at Gillette Over Ongoing Bill Belichick/Mac Jones Situation
We’re in the dead zone of the offseason, and the recent news of Mac Jones potentially being shopped by Bill Belichick obviously caught many off guard here in New England.
However, it’s also apparently not being well received inside the building, either.
According to NBC Boston’s Phil Perry, people within the team weren’t pleased with the news getting out there about any potential moves involving the third-year quarterback, as it made an already difficult situation that much worse.
They’re also frustrated that there is still a level of animosity that exists on Belichick’s side, which is apparently something that has many people puzzled given the context and what went on here last season.
“I heard what I would best describe as a collective rolling of eyes from folks with the team on Mac seeking out help and potentially being traded in part because of that,” Perry said. “What I’ve been told from a variety of different folks — with the team, formerly with the team, understanding of the situation, watching the situation from afar — they will put it very plainly: They don’t believe Mac Jones was being coached last year, so Mac Jones reached out to people for some coaching.
“The rolling of eyes that I hear is when that situation gets laid out … people look at that and say, ‘OK, I get it. You’re not looking for your players to do that. But he wasn’t being coached. He sought out coaching, and now he’s the problem? What are we talking about here?'”
2022 was a frustrating year for Jones. (PHOTO: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
Jones, who went unbeaten en-route to a National Championship before entering the NFL, and then led the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance, isn’t big on losing. That wasn’t acceptable at Alabama, and obviously, it’s not something that sits well here.
As a result, the level of frustration and helplessness he clearly felt obviously led to him seeking guidance outside the organization.
The problems went back to the summer, with Jones, having worked with Josh McDaniels the previous season, and Steve Sarkisian the year before that at Alabama, being used to working with guys who provided contingencies in different situations.
However, this time around, there were apparently a lot of questions there weren’t always answers to. In a revealing article by the Boston Herald at the beginning of the offseason, that was an issue that didn’t sit well, and obviously had some players second-guessing Matt Patricia’s offensive scheme. Players were told, “We’ll get to that when we get to that.”
That obviously wasn’t good enough. As a result, as we’ve heard, Jones also reportedly made calls to his alma mater asking questions while trying to navigate a difficult situation. Obviously, the fact he went outside the building has been a massively sore subject with Belichick, which seems to have made things tense between the two.
On the surface, while people are treating the reports as being current and Jones being potentially on the block, it really feels like a revelation of what seems to be old news. Neither have given any public indication of any tension between the two. While Belicick wasn’t warm and fuzzy when he spoke about Jones during the owner’s meetings, he also didn’t say anything that would warrant anything outside the norm.
Since then, it’s seemed like business as usual. Both seem to be focusing on each of their respective jobs heading into 2023, with each one seemingly looking to put 2022 behind them.
But behind closed doors, all still doesn’t necessarily seem perfect. According to Perry, people have told him the issues remain real and to make matters worse, they don’t understand why things continue to linger, especially considering all the factors that fed into what ended up being a tough situation for Jones last season.
“Folks in the building understand he was in an adverse situation, and that is putting it gently,” Perry said. “It’s really difficult to hold it against him that he tried to fix it on his own. This is how people view this: Mac Jones felt as though he had exhausted all options available to him in the building, so he went out and pursued improvement elsewhere. And he might be punished because of that? He might be traded because of that? That’s him writing his own ticket out of town?
“There’s an absurdity to all of this that is not lost on Patriots employees.”
Meanwhile, Perry also said he spoke to players who are also frustrated that all of the news, especially with potentially moving Jones, is even out there, with Perry adding, “They’re not happy that 2022 is bleeding into 2023.”
For now, Jones has reportedly been one of the few players in the building on a daily basis, with fellow quarterback Bailey Zappe also there working with new offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien, getting a jump on things ahead of the upcoming season.
With two weeks still to go before the NFL Draft, it won’t be long before the new group of players all reconvene and things begin moving forward, with the Patriots hoping for a new start during what’s essentially a crucial season for both Belichick and Jones.
But for that to happen, they need to put all this behind them and move on. Belichick has been a master of that in the past, but the fact it’s not the case now only makes a curious situation that much more puzzling.
As a result, it remains a problem without a solution. That’s not exactly a great sign, especially for a team with so much at stake given the dysfunction it already dealt with all last season.
Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Offseason
Tags: Bill Belichick Mac Jones