Mac Jones is already feeling the Bill O'Brien effect at Patriots training camp

Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) makes his way to
Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) makes his way to / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

At this point last offseason, nearly all offensive players on the Patriots roster who spoke to the media repeated the same phrases when asked how it was to work with Matt Patricia as the presumed offensive coordinator.

They remained optimistic, constantly mentioning that new things take time and attempting to reassure onlookers that things were going smoothly. It was obvious to everyone that wasn't the case, but the players kept the Patriot way alive and stayed mum on the subject.

Fast forward to this year's training camp, and the team overall can't stop speaking highly of Bill O'Brien's presence on and off the field.

The former Texans head coach had made an immediate impact upon his return to Foxboro, and offensive players specifically can't stop raving about how great it has been to work with him.

One of the more vocal players when discussing O'Brien continues to be Mac Jones, deservedly so. After being put into an unfair situation last year with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, Jones has been adamant about how great it is to have a new coach in the building with a long list of experience and understanding of his role.

The quarterback discussed the dynamic even further on Wednesday when speaking to Tom Pelissero and Scott Pioli of after practice.

"He’s done a great job. I think, obviously, first things first, he’s had a lot of different roles in the NFL — head coach, he’s managed teams, managed people, managed coaches. So, he’s done it all. Obviously was at Alabama and did a great job there.

He definitely is the same guy every day. He’s super competitive, and I feel like he’s done a great job communicating. That’s been the number one thing for us: open, honest communication. From there, you just correct the things that you need to be better at."

The emphasis on communication is the most telling part of his answer. From the beginning, it was clear that something was off with Patricia running the offense, other than the obvious that he had no experience working with that side of a football team.

The strain in Jones and Patricia's relationship showed throughout the season, with Jones showing his frustration sporadically in games, sometimes seemingly at Patricia himself.

Now with O'Brien in the fold, it's a sense of familiarity for the quarterback who learned from another tough coach, Nick Saban, during his time at Alabama.

Hopefully, the effect O'Brien has already had in practices will continue to show, especially since Wednesday was the best outing for the offense so far during training camp. It's a much better sign than the consistent struggle they showed last summer.