FOXBORO, Mass. — Earlier this week, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made the season-defining choice to cut Cam Newton and hand the starting quarterback job to rookie Mac Jones.
That decision seems to have the approval of the Patriots’ locker room.
Multiple New England players on both sides of the ball raved about Jones after Thursday’s practice, saying the first-round draft pick is ready for the QB1 spotlight.
“Mac Jones — he’s going to be that guy,” cornerback J.C. Jackson said. “I mean, he’s a rookie, but he plays like a vet. The way he reads defenses, the way he steps up in the pocket, delivers the ball, he’s improved since the first time I saw him.”
Defensive back Jalen Mills remarked on Jones’ pre-snap acumen, explaining how the young signal-caller is able to correctly decipher defenses and audible into more advantageous play calls.
“I think the biggest thing,” Mills said, “is when you see the offense may have a play called, there may be a motion or you see a guy flinch where it may be a blitz, and you see him go to the line of scrimmage and make a different type of check. That’s what you want to see from not only a young guy, but your quarterback in general.
“They have predicated call, and he sees that the defense is attacking them in a certain type of way and he changes the whole offense to a play that helps him get in a better position.”