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Mac Jones

Pro Football Hall of Famer still believes in Mac Jones as a starting QB in the NFL

Mac Jones (#10) drops back to pass for New England in 2022 matchup against Chicago Bears
Paul Rutherford - USA Today Sports

He has not had the same success in the last two years that he achieved as a rookie, but the blame is not solely on Mac Jones.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots did not have an environment for him to excel.

Jones made the Pro Bowl as a rookie under Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator in 2021 and took the Patriots to the playoffs.

After that, New England brought in two defensive coaches — Matt Patricia and Joe Judge — to call offensive plays. Jones struggled mightily in 2022 and things did not improve under Bill O’Brien last year. The Patriots have Jones under contract through the 2024 season, but he has a clean slate after that. People wonder if he still has a value as a quarterback or has New England damaged him. Steve Young, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member, still believes in Jones as a starter in the league. 

Young, a three-time Super Bowl champion, 7x Pro Bowl selection, and three-time first-team All-Pro, was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the National Football League.

“I really believe in Mac, I still do,” Young said last week. “I can understand why people are down because it looks bad, but the coaching situation …. what can I say? When you take a defensive coach and have him call plays, it is not right. I thought Mac in many ways that season showed me … everyone in the world new this was just a crap show. Mac stood in there. It was the next year when everything went haywire, and I think it gets too much.”

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Young has sympathy for the dysfunction Jones went through in the last two seasons. He had stability in his rookie year with McDaniels and it is why Jones had success. The stability was removed and New England’s lack of attention to detail in the NFL Draft has led to Jones not having help. Quarterbacks cannot win Super Bowls by themselves. They need playmakers around them.

Young still has faith in Jones, but the former Alabama quarterback may need to go to a new team.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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