3 reasons why the best is yet to come from Patriots quarterback Mac Jones in 2023

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His relationship with Bill Belichick may be at its best right now

Imagine how difficult it must be to have your head coach not express confidence in you to the public on several occasions. That's precisely what Jones had dealt with since arriving in New England.

Of course, Belichick isn't exactly the type of coach who speaks glowingly about any players on the Patriots; he didn't even do it that often when Tom Brady dominated the league for twenty years. But when you have a young quarterback you're trying to develop, avoiding answering questions about your position on him to the point of refusing to name him the starter is probably not the best way to instill confidence in him.

Although things were far from perfect during his rookie season, the relationship between the head coach and quarterback seemed good. Then we saw what looked like the complete opposite just one year later, to the point of rumors swirling that Belichick wanted Jones off the team.

That allegedly began when it was revealed Jones had reached out to his former coaches at Alabama during the 2022 season, asking for their advice about how to deal with the circumstances he was under, having to deal with the inexperience of Matt Patricia. Word got back to Belichick about the calls, seemingly angering the head coach that Jones did so behind his back.

It resulted in a begrudged Belichick unwilling to openly support Jones as the quarterback of the Patriots, so much so that he allegedly toyed with the idea of keeping Bailey Zappe in under center even after Jones returned from his ankle injury.

It then progressed into reports claiming Belichick explored potentially trading Jones this offseason, which came as no surprise as he continued to be aloof when asked about the quarterback's future.

But with less than two weeks left until the start of the 2023 regular season, things look to be back to how they once were between the two, especially since Jones was the last quarterback standing at the roster cutdown deadline and Zappe was waived.

The once-believed replacement of Jones was no longer, seemingly ending the quarterback debate that has remained a conversation as recently as this summer. That may not be a vote of confidence in Jones directly, but it's definitely a move in the right direction, considering where things were in the middle of last season.

Heading into a new season with what Jones has referred to as a "fresh start," Belichick hasn't expressed his overwhelming confidence in the QB1 but ended the rumors about their strained relationship. He has also publicly endorsed him as the starter, even if it was his typical Belichickian way.

Jones has also spoken optimistically about their relationship, revealing the importance of communication and working together while discussing their conversation before training camp.

It may not be great, and maybe it never will be. But at least the relationship between Belichick and Jones looks much improved than at this point last year, which is a giant improvement, all things considered.