Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Patriots Mac Jones describes frustrating QB situation: ‘I only have one ball’

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The New England Patriots picked up their first win of Week 2 away from a limping but powerful Pittsburgh Steelers. The win wasn’t pretty, but we saw more consistent play from the defense and some improvements on the offensive side of the ball.

Patriots QB Mac Jones didn’t have his best game, which has been a growing trend since last season, so the second-year quarterback was the target of some harsh criticism after the game.

Words would have been harsher if the Patriots had lost the Week 2 matchup. Jones answered some friendlier questions on Monday Audacy’s WEEI 93.7 (Boston) as a guest on Merloni, Fauria and Mego. Jones was asked about the challenge of spreading the ball among his various goals.

Based on his answer, this seems to be perhaps one of Jones’ biggest challenges.

“I only have one ball, which is always frustrating for me,” Jones said. “I wish I had three so I could throw it to all the guys because they’re usually always open. I have a choice to make, and sometimes I’m told, “This is my reading, this is what I’m going to do,” and sometimes it’s this game you’re playing. Like, ‘Oh, all I’ve seen is this.’ Then you watch the movie and it’s something else. It’s always that game as quarterback.”

The Patriots don’t have a definitive No. 1 receiver or a tight end at this level. However, Jones seems to default to his ever-constant slot target, Jakobi Meyers, when he’s in trouble. Given the currently modest weapons at Jones’ disposal, it’s understandable that he’d be a little indecisive when deciding where to go with the ball. Despite what he says, not all of his recipients are open all the time.

DeVante Parker, the man the Patriots traded for during the offseason in hopes he would become the team’s No. 1 player. 1 guy, notorious for not creating much separation between himself and his defender. Jones’ attempts to connect with Parker on 50-50 balls have gone remarkably poorly, with two of the passes being intercepted.

Unless someone turns out to be a real No. 1 guy, Jones will likely continue to experience some frustration in that area.

As the 2021 season begins, the Patriots’ tight ends should be the main players on offense. While Hunter Henry had a strong 2021 season and led the team in TD receptions, Jonnu Smith had a disappointing first year with the Patriots.

Hopes were high that he would join Henry as a prolific player in a two-tight end look, but in 2022 neither man was a factor in the passing game.

Together, Henry and Smith have five receptions on 11 goals for just 53 yards. That’s not what most expected from the duo when Bill Belichick and company handed out big free-agent dollars to Smith and Henry last offseason. It seems Henry understands that the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint; As such, he still hopes he and Smith will feature more prominently on the team’s offense.

“It’s coming, man. I’m not worried about that,” Henry said. “We’re all working offensively and were able to string together a lot of good drives yesterday.”

Unfortunately, it’s still early in the 2022 season and there’s still time for both men to make their mark on offense. If the Patriots attack is to reach its potential, they’re going to need more of the tight ends.

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