Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Patriots linebacker knew Mac Jones was “special” before the NFL

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M

ac Jones had a great start to his NFL career and a current member of the New England Patriots saw him coming many years ago.

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Linebacker Mack Wilson met with the media for the first time since joining the Patriots. New England acquired Wilson from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Chase Winovich.

While he has some new teammates to meet, Wilson is already familiar with one player. Jones and Wilson were in Alabama at the same time. While Wilson was getting game time, Jones was stuck down the depth chart as a scout team quarterback.

In an introductory press conference with the media, Wilson explained that even if he didn’t get any playing time, he knew Jones would be special.

“I tell a lot of people I knew Mac when he was a pup,” the linebacker said in his introductory video conference call, “and just to see how much he’s grown as a person and as a player has amazed me.” Because growing up and obviously when we were in college, I told everyone at home, friends and family that Mac Jones was going to be special.

“And a lot of guys didn’t believe me. Even some of the guys who were on our team didn’t believe me. I just saw something in him. He’ll tell you himself — I just saw something in him that made me say, ‘Hey, this kid is going to be special.'”

Wilson also explained that Jones looked like he belonged in Alabama.

“He just had a boast,” Wilson said. “You know, a lot of guys come in as newbies and they’re uptight and things like that. Mac was just bragging, and that’s something that caught my eye. He made some great games. He made great throws. Even when he was crawling he had a little juice in him. It was just various little things that made me say, ‘Hey, I like Mac. He will be good.’ I believed in it and obviously it’s coming true.”

While Wilson spoke very highly of Jones, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t successful against him in practice in Alabama. The linebacker was able to knock out Jones a few times during his college days.

“Even though I’ve caught him training a few times, I’ve always told him, just keep at work man, just be patient and your time will come,” Wilson said. “He did, and obviously the rest was history. But he’s just looking forward to his second year here and I can’t wait to see his game develop and take him to the next level.”

Wilson will now try to cause some turnovers to give the ball to Jones and the Patriots. After struggles with the Browns, Wilson will try to rekindle his NFL career in New England.

In three seasons, Wilson had 163 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

Jones will also be looking to improve in his second season in New England. While he had an impressive rookie season, sophomore year is crucial for quarterbacks.

Jones threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his rookie year. The quarterback also went to the Pro Bowl thanks to his performance in 2021.

The Patriots quarterback will have a few new weapons to use this season. The most important is DeVante Parker, which New England acquired through a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Jones and Parker are now the only Patriots receivers to ever eclipse 1,000 yards in a season and have the ability to put up some big numbers.

So while Patriots fans are just beginning to realize how special Jones is, Wilson has known for quite some time that Jones was a special player.

Jones threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his rookie year. The quarterback also went to the Pro Bowl thanks to his performance in 2021.

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