FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts – New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones, who repeated the first session for the third straight day, impressed his teammates in a spirited practice session with the New York Giants on Wednesday.
Jones’ performance creates a potentially intriguing situation when Cam Newton returns to the team on Thursday after a lack of time due to a “misunderstanding” of the COVID-19 protocol.
“I think Mac does a good job, takes the lead, controls everyone, has everyone in their place and stuff – makes the team a real team,” said recipient Kendrick Bourne.
Summing up Wednesday’s practice with the Giants, Bourne said the Patriots’ offense “definitely feels we somehow won the day”.
Jones was 35 out of 40 in practice in 11v11 and 7v7 drills. At one point he made 18 straight passes.
Practice stats require additional context as the defenders do not fight on the ground and sometimes prefer because there are no live hits.
Nonetheless, Jones was dialed in and ended his day by leading the Patriots about 80 yards to a touchdown in a two-minute drill. Jones knelt on the sidelines after the exercise and was visited by coach Bill Belichick – who had previously acknowledged that Jones had a great chance in training due to Newton’s absence – and received a high five.
Others turned to him too, such as Deatrich Wise Jr.
“Did you see the … [drive]? I gave him a fist pound. I think he looks pretty good, “said Wise.
Jones hadn’t worked as a top quarterback at training camp prior to this week.
“He’s getting a lot of reps now. He’s taking control of the huddle and just trying to do the best he can to make sure everyone is on the same page so we can go out, not just for a period, but during the entire practice can work the entire time, “said retreating veteran James White.
“I would say he’s getting more and more confident. The more you are out there and the more reps you get, the more confident you get.”
Jones’ reps could be reduced on Thursday when Newton is expected to return to training.
Belichick had always said that Newton was the quarterback, but like players in any position, Newton must restore that prestige during the preseason. Belichick has said that if someone is performing better than the starter or the starter is not available, there can be a change in any position.
Belichick was not supposed to reach out to reporters on Wednesday, but asked Tuesday if his opinion on the quarterback situation had changed due to Newton’s absence. “