Mac Jones' performance during Patriots OTAs has a lot of people talking

Jan 1, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws
Jan 1, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It was just one offseason ago that the Patriots were making headlines, but not for good reason.

After the departure of Josh McDaniels, who became the Raiders' head coach, Bill Belichick decided to hand the offensive play-calling duties to Matt Patricia while co-signing a brand new playbook and scheme to keep things spicy.

The initial reactions to the changes were not good, but even after watching the team participate in several practices, it was apparent it wouldn't improve.

The team that just impressed a season before with a rookie quarterback, getting into the playoffs after missing it a season before was no longer.

They were disjointed.

They were unhappy.

They had visibly given up before the season had even ended.

And much of the focus remained on the young quarterback, mainly due to his noteworthy rookie performance with a historically difficult franchise. The change of offensive coordinators was not expected to go smoothly at first, as it likely wouldn't for any quarterback at any stage in their career. But Jones struggled working with Patricia immediately, despite being touted to have a second-year jump ahead of the season.

The disconnect was there from the beginning, a vastly different relationship than what was seen between Jones and McDaniels, and it appeared to trickle into game day performances.

Jones's performance in his second season left much to be desired and had many calling for his rookie backup to replace him upon his return from injury. As a result, the uncertainty of his position on the team became a topic of conversation for the rest of the year and remains a debate to this day. But the latest news from the Patriots' OTAs appears to be putting much of that to rest, at least for now.

Through the offseason training activities that have taken place at Gillette Stadium so far, the media nor the fans have been allowed to watch. However, NFL insiders have been sharing what their sources are telling them regarding the team's performance thus far.

The most intriguing news is in the form of glowing reviews regarding Jones' performance. Mike Giardi, formerly of the NFL Network, shared some tidbits of what he's been hearing about the quarterback, which included some quotes describing the change they've seen from this time last season.

— “Confident. Leading like we know he can.”
— “Ready to remind you (media/fans) why he was a playoff QB in year one.”
— “Energized” by the change (Bill O’Brien as OC).

It is a much needed review for not just Jones but the Patriots as well after the absolute mess of the 2022 offseason throughout the 18 week regular season. Plus, the hiring of O'Brien has seemingly brought back optimism to the team, which was clearly lacking last year.

With voluntary offseason practices beginning next week, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Jones and the rest of the offensive roster. Hopefully the improvements seen and the excitement its brought will be evident for all to see and help reinvigorate the New England fans as they look ahead to the 2023 season.