Patriots Players Share Their Real Thoughts On Mac Jones

Ernesto Cova

The new-look New England Patriots had a better season than most NFL insiders expected. Their defense was top-notch, and their offense showed glimpses of great promise.

More importantly, the Pats may have found the right guy to lead the post-Tom-Brady era.

Mac Jones looked poised, ready, and in control for most of the season. Moreover, his work ethic and leadership turned a lot of heads among the team's veterans, earning the respect of his colleagues even before the start of the season.

Jones Earned The Respect Of The Vets

In a recent interview, Patriots veteran Matthew Slater raved about how Jones made a great impression, lauding his development and determination to keep getting better every single day:

“I know my kids and I will watch be watching him a long time to come,” Slater told Patriots Wire. “It’s certainly been an honor for me to play alongside him and see him grow over the course of the year. Patriots Nation — they should be excited about having No. 10 as a quarterback.”

Mac Jones Knows The Pats Will Get Better

Jones was disappointed in the way their season ended but knows he'll grow from that experience, just like the rest of the team:

"We put a lot of effort into it, it's not like we don't do that, but I think just the little things show up in the game. Like tonight, just the little things for everybody, myself included," Jones said, per the Patriots website. "That's just something that I learned. I'll just try to watch the tape and learn from it. I do appreciate everybody on our team for having my back."

Jones Is Looking Forward To Next Season

Per Jones, it's all about getting more reps and real-time situations. Just like a pilot, flight hours and practice will make perfect:

"I think you get more comfortable with anything you do in life," the QB said. "I always relate it back to being a pilot. If you're a pilot and you've only flown so many times, by the time you have hundreds of flight hours, it's just an every day thing for you. For me, obviously I was a rookie and I played like that sometimes and I shouldn't have and I can play better and that's my goal this offseason is just to advance and bring the guys along with me."

The Patriots Are Ahead Of Schedule

In reality, no one expected the Patriots to come this far this season. They overachieved but proved that their success could be sustainable.

All they need is to add a couple of more pieces, give Jones a longer leash, and hope he turns out to be the franchise QB he has the potential to be.

The Pats' defense, albeit humiliated in their last game, was ball-hungry and physical, and Bill Belichick will always be the last guy you want to meet on the other sideline.