Patriots’ quarterback Mac Jones endured a lot in his second year in New England and should still be considered the long-term answer for the team. I think what Jones had to go through this year with the offense was something quite unprecedented.
First, a defensive coach and a special teams coach were put in significant roles within the offense, and one was the play-caller. Next, tackles Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn had to switch positions because Wynn skipped some voluntary workouts.
The Patriots also tried to upgrade their wide receiver room by trading for DeVante Parker, but clearly that did not make a huge difference. What we were likely supposed to see from Mac Jones in year two was completely erased by troubling decisions from Bill Belichick.
I think historically speaking, what Jones did as a rookie is one of the best rookie seasons by a quarterback in NFL history. Winning double digit games, having a passer rating in the low 90s and leading a top 10 offense to the playoffs are things that elite quarterbacks do, not rookies.
Given what he was able to accomplish as a rookie, it is reasonable to think that he still can be the long-term option.
Just ask yourself, how much better would Jones and the offense be if they replaced Matt Patricia with Frank Reich and added someone like DeAndre Hopkins into the wide receiver room? The Patriots have cap space, draft picks, and the rich history and tradition.
They should have no issues bringing in a significant upgrade at play-caller and also should have little issue acquiring an upgrade at wide receiver.
Another point to make is that the quarterbacks we consider elite in today’s game all have at least one elite weapon to throw to, right?
Allen has Diggs, Burrow has Chase and Higgins, Mahomes had Hill and Kelce, Herbert has Allen and Williams, etc.
There’s no secret formula to this process. Get Mac Jones a competent play-caller and a difference maker at wide receiver, and I think he takes off in year three.