Mac Jones generally seems like a calm, cool and collected guy. But you better believe he will have some nerves Sunday when he makes his first NFL start.
After winning the New England Patriots starting quarterback job out of camp, the rookie Alabama product will be under center Sunday when the Pats begin their season with a meeting against the Miami Dolphins.
The 2020 season was a bad one for the Patriots, who responded by drafting Jones in the first round and spending over $170 million in free agency. So, expectations will be high for Jones as New England attempts to get back on track.
But Mike Lombardi, a former Patriots executive, believes head coach Bill Belichick’s message to Jones will be doing the opposite of putting the full burden on him.
“Belichick is all about three phases winning the game. I am sure he’ll have this conversation with Mac: ‘You don’t have to win the game. We’ve got to play good in the kicking game. We’ve got to play good on defense and we’ve got to play good on offense. You have to play good. You’re just part of the three things.’”
Make no mistake, Jones needs to play well this season in order for the Patriots to have any success. But it is not going to fall squarely on him, and perhaps relieving him of that pressure ultimately will be to his benefit.
We’ll find out when Patriots-Dolphins kicks off Sunday from Gillette Stadium at 4:25 p.m. ET.
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