In each of the three preseason games he appeared in, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones looked comfortable and settled in right from his first snaps of each contest.
At the very least, Jones had a great grip on the Patriots offense which was one of the main reasons he was named the team’s starting quarterback as a rookie.
Another wrinkle to Jones’ early starting story arose on Saturday when former New England Patriots linebacker now ESPN contributor Rob Ninkovich shared a new nugget of information on his podcast “The Dan and Ninko Show.”
In one clip that has now gone viral, Ninkovich shared that he’d heard from people he still knows inside the Patriots organization, Jones was helping former starter Cam Newton learn the playbook.
“From everything that I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich said. “So, imagine that. Learn that. Learn that right now. Absorb it. Learn it. Because Mac was having less M.E.’s — mental errors, that is what M.E. is in football, mental errors. He was having less mental errors in having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute. We didn’t see him run any no-huddle. … You have to run no-huddle. That’s vital.”
Newton served as the team’s starting quarterback during the 2020 season, where he struggled to find success in the Patriots system.
New England is notorious for having one of the most complex systems to learn in the entire NFL, which makes it all the more impressive that Jones was able to pick it up so quickly to the point where he was on a teaching level of some plays.
Jones will have his first true opportunity to show just how good of a grasp he has one the Pats’ playbook when he squares off against former Alabama teammate now Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the team’s Week 1 matchup on Sept. 12, at 3:25 pm CT.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77