On Thursday ESPN's Dan Orlovsky spoke to the "Jones and Mego" show on WEEI. Coming off a week two loss to the Miami Dolphins Orlovsky spoke on Mac Jones himself and the rest of the New England Patriots offense.
When speaking about Jones, Orlovsky mentioned, to his eyes, Jones' improved arm strength so far this season. He said, "Down the middle of the field this weekend, those throws are rips... the ball velocity has picked up. I've always thought his arm strength was more than adequate." While some people always like to point to Jones as the problem, so far this year it seems that is not the case.
Speaking on the rest of the offense the former Lions quarterback mentioned the lack of talent on the outside. As we know the Patriots were involved in trying to acquire free-agent wideout (at the time) DeAndre Hopkins. It sure feels like this will go on to bite them this season as the offense as a whole lacks any explosive playmakers at wide receiver.
In the interview, a stat from Warren Sharp was talked about with Orlovsky. The stat speaks on the lack of success the Patriots and Mac Jones specifically have had while trying to stretch the ball down the field. On throws of 20-plus air yards Jones has had 11 attempts this season and only one completion to show for it. Among qualifying quarterbacks Jones ranked last in yards per attempt, EPA/attempt, and completion percentage. Simply put Orlovsky chalked this up to a lack of ability for the skilled guys to get open down field.
Ultimately while Jones has been far from perfect this season I think the Patriots front office and Bill Belichick specifically made grave errors in assuming the talent on the offense currently was enough to get by with. When you compare the weapons on teams across the AFC the Patriots are on paper one of the worst in the conference. Hopefully a change of approach to acquiring offensive skill players will occur this offseason to get a real depiction if Jones is the quarterback of the future.