The next generation of the New England Patriots will likely be led by quarterback Mac Jones, who has been showing off his arm talent and decision-making in the preseason.
With Bill Belichick as his coach and Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinator, that’s a strong foundation to lean on.
In what was a complete domination of the Philadelphia Eagles last week, Jones looked almost impeccable, completing strikes down the field and tight-window throws against an overwhelmed collection of backups.
Whatever McDaniels has been preaching, Jones is certainly taking to that.
McDaniels has to take on more of an instructor role after years of helping the ageless Tom Brady, but former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who parlayed advice from McDaniels into a very lucrative contract in Kansas City, thinks that he’s the perfect man for the job of developing Jones.
Cassel, per Mike Reiss of ESPN, was very complimentary of McDaniels, both as a coach and instructor for young quarterbacks. Having gone through exactly what Jones is in the middle of right now following his career at USC, Cassel was able to vouch for the Pats’ OC.
"“In terms of him as a coach, one of his biggest strengths is his ability to teach,” said Cassel. “There are guys that can go through a play, but not really know how to detail it, teach it, and have you fully understand conceptually why you’re going a certain place with the ball. Every single day he has something new and creative to keep your mind going.”"
Mac Jones could become a Patriots great with help from Josh McDaniels.
Jones has faced backups from Washington as well as Philadelphia team that looked like the last thing they wanted to do that night was play football, but he’s still showing progress in some of the areas scouts questioned. His arm strength is looking much more robust, and he’s getting rid of the football as quickly as possible.
While all signs point to Cam Newton starting the season under center, the change to Jones will happen when the Patriots are fully confident in his abilities. Based on how the preseason is looking, it appears Jones may be further along than we thought.
With Belichick starting to come into the home stretch of his pro career, McDaniels’ name will inevitably come up when it’s time to replace him. McDaniels and Jones could be the 1-2 punch that keeps New England competitive for the next decade, provided Jones soaks up as many pearls of wisdom from McDaniels as possible.