New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has hailed quarter-back Mac Jones’ ‘dramatic improvement’ ahead of the new 2022-23 NFL season beginning in September.
23-year-old Jones was selected by the Patriots in the 2021 NFL Draft with the 15th pick and led his team to a wild card finish in the playoffs, alongside earning a first Pro Bowl selection.
Belichick said: “He’s made tremendous strides. He did a great job last year, but he’s starting from a much, much higher point this year from where he started last year. His offseason work has been significant, and I think everyone recognizes how well he prepares and how much further along he was than a year ago.”
Watch out for Mac Jones in Year 2 🚀 pic.twitter.com/r72Nl5PRrJ
— PFF (@PFF) July 26, 2022
The Patriots’ first practice of training camp took place on Wednesday morning, as the franchise look to build momentum and strive to win their first Super Bowl post-Tom Brady era.
Initial doubts about Mac Jones’ weight and build when he first entered the league were a popular discussion amongst the media in New England, but Belichick says he has seen an excellent display of “physical work and conditioning, mechanics, footwork, understanding of our offense and opponent defenses.”
Mac Jones is here pic.twitter.com/6dIQ7XvpmR
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 27, 2022
In his rookie year, Jones’ 67.56% pass completion rate was the second-best ever by a first-year QB, just behind Dallas Cowboy Dak Prescott’s 67.76% total from 2016.
The University of Alabama alumnus finished the 2021-22 season with an overall grade of 80.4, whilst no other rookie QB had a grade higher than 65 – in a strong draft class featuring the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields.
The Massachusetts faithful will be expecting a successful campaign from the Patriots, who are bidding for their first Super Bowl appearance since 2019.