There is plenty of blame to be spread around the entire Patriots team; from coaching to players to even ownership, a lot needs to be fixed to get them back on track, and it starts at the top.
Robert Kraft has made his feelings known about how the team has fared since Tom Brady's departure three years ago, making it fair to assume the start of the 2023 season is only disappointing him further.
Most of the blame has been placed on the shoulders of Mac Jones, and in most cases, that's fair. But at the end of the day, the roster construction and personnel decisions were made by Bill Belichick, and he shouldn't escape blame for what has transpired so far this season.
Despite the overwhelming demands for Jones to be benched to allow Bailey Zappe or another quarterback to take over, one of the biggest obstacles that Belichick has yet to overcome is adapting to having a young quarterback on a rookie contract and formulating a team around him that gives him the best chance of being successful.
Some will argue that Jones entering his third season is enough time to honestly evaluate his development and chances of being a good quarterback. But at the same time, would anyone consider the disastrous 2022 season a fair year to assess Jones, given the circumstances he was put in?
This year seemed like it would be an incredible improvement with the new coaches that were added, and on paper, it should have been. However, the improper decisions to create the 2023 roster are glaring reminders of Belichick's mindset of relying on a guy like Brady to cover up the biggest weaknesses of the offense.
It's a tall task to ask a quarterback to overcome being pressured on 50% of your dropbacks or being given under two seconds to make a pass to a receiver.
It's unfathomable to believe that a team can survive on a passing game only, with an offensive line that doesn't block well enough to allow an adequate rush attack when they have two of the best running backs on the team.
Mac Jones is not equipped to do that, nor would 99% of quarterbacks in just their third season, if ever.
And apparently, according to a source revealed by Fox Sports' Henry McKenna, Jones is not exactly happy with his current situation and believes others wouldn't be successful if they were put in his position either.
"No matter how good of cook you are, you cannot make garbage taste good. Even if it was not Mac at QB, what QB would want to play here under these conditions?"
Where's the lie?
This doesn't mean that Jones is the guy for New England, but to not acknowledge the questionable team-building that Belichick has done over the last three years would be disingenuous.
Jones can be playing poorly due to his own struggles as well as outside factors, and Belichick can be culpable in not putting together a roster talented enough to help develop a young quarterback into exactly what you need for your team. Both things can be true.
So that makes it unsurprising to hear that Jones may be frustrated with what is going on, especially after all that he was dealt with last season. How this unfolds adds another layer to the season to watch for, as difficult decisions regarding the entire team are likely on their way.