Dont’a Hightower: Mac Jones had an easier time adapting to things than most rookies

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When the Patriots drafted Mac Jones, it seemed like playing under head coach Bill Belichick might be a natural fit for the quarterback after playing under Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Belichick and Saban have a well-documented friendship that spans decades, with Saban serving as Belichick’s defensive coordinator for the Browns in the 90s.

And according to another player who’s lined up for both Belichick and Saban, Jones’ experience in Alabama’s program helped Jones when he got to New England.

“He’s just being Mac. I don’t think that he’s asking for asking for a lot,” linebacker Dont'a Hightower said, via Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal. “I think he’s just kind of going about things the way that he knows how and just kind of happens to marry up to a lot of the ways that we’ve done it here. Obviously with Bill [and Saban] being close, they have some things kind of [run] teams in similar ways. And so he was able to adapt to things a lot easier than most rookies.”

Jones received widespread praise from his teammates throughout camp and that only continued since he officially earned the starting job. But he still has plenty to prove as the Patriots begin their season on Sunday against the Dolphins.

27 responses to “Dont’a Hightower: Mac Jones had an easier time adapting to things than most rookies

  1. Other than being blocked by Newton in taking the 1s, I don’t see any reason a prospect like this coached by BB and McDaniels can’t do what Herbert did last year.

    Or what Burrow was doing. Jones is set up better than those guys.

    Straitjackets will be one order all over the country come Halloween. lol

  2. That was the advantage w/ Mac. Most pro-ready, but lowest ceiling.

    I predict he’ll be a long-time starter in NE, but never dominant. More of a solid game manager, which is all they need as long as BB is coach.

  3. MVP….MVP…..MVP..
    Sounds like Pats fans are drinking the Kool-aid by the gallons..

    _____

    Who said MVP? Hightower didnt. He just said the kid adjusted well.

  4. There is a HUGE reason that Jones can’t do what Herbert did last year, a lack of exceptional QB talent. He might be the smartest and most dedicated guy in the room but this is big boy school. He always has to use the smarts and learning to make up for his average skills. It does not mean he has to fail, but it is reality.

  5. touchback6 says:
    September 9, 2021 at 3:06 pm
    Other than being blocked by Newton in taking the 1s, I don’t see any reason a prospect like this coached by BB and McDaniels can’t do what Herbert did last year.

    Or what Burrow was doing. Jones is set up better than those guys.

    Straitjackets will be one order all over the country come Halloween. lol

    ———

    You said all these same things about Jarrett Stidham.

    LOL!

  6. Most pro-ready, but lowest ceiling.

    _____

    Maybe athletically…QB play in the NFL is mostly mental, thats been proven over and over and over, and Jones is very smart and learns quickly.

    Also, you know the Pats didnt have an opportunity to draft the other guys without trading away the farm. So, even if they do have a higher ceiling and better career thats actually expected, as they were all picked well ahead of Jones. If Jones is better than they are, then those other teams dropped the ball.

  7. Thanks to Brady, the league has set up QBs with “average skills” to win. All Mac has to do is stay healthy, improve on his ability to read defenses and not fall apart in big games. He is set up perfectly for success. Plus he is on a rookie contract for the next 4 years so Bill will be able to surround him with a great team.

  8. skippyx says:
    September 9, 2021 at 3:31 pm
    There is a HUGE reason that Jones can’t do what Herbert did last year, a lack of exceptional QB talent. He might be the smartest and most dedicated guy in the room but this is big boy school. He always has to use the smarts and learning to make up for his average skills. It does not mean he has to fail, but it is reality.

    ___

    When Brady took over for Bledsoe, he was not regarded as an exceptional QB talent. However, he won games and ended up with 3 Super Bowls over 4 years. The Pats won with great defense, a strong running game and special teams. Brady managed the games. This appears to be how BB is laying the current foundation. Will it have as much success, probably not. But Jones doesn’t have to be exceptional or have a year like Herbert out of the gate for the Pats to win games.

  9. “Maybe athletically…QB play in the NFL is mostly mental, thats been proven over and over and over, and Jones is very smart and learns quickly.”
    _______________________________

    “Mostly” is a stretch. Of course it’s a big part. But he doesn’t have what most would call an NFL arm.

    I’ve seen comparisons to Pennington, who I loved to watch play. I think that’s probably pretty close. He can win a lot of games for the Pats, but I doubt he’ll ever be the best QB in the division or close to it.

    The hype is a bit over the top, though. He played well in the preseason. It was the preseason.

  10. billsrthefuture says:
    September 9, 2021 at 4:15 pm
    “Maybe athletically…QB play in the NFL is mostly mental, thats been proven over and over and over, and Jones is very smart and learns quickly.”
    _______________________________

    “Mostly” is a stretch. Of course it’s a big part. But he doesn’t have what most would call an NFL arm.

    I’ve seen comparisons to Pennington, who I loved to watch play. I think that’s probably pretty close. He can win a lot of games for the Pats, but I doubt he’ll ever be the best QB in the division or close to it.

    The hype is a bit over the top, though. He played well in the preseason. It was the preseason.

    0 2 Rate This

    ——————

    He’s already the best in the division coming off a national title at Bama. I can smell the fear from here. lol

    Allen has had 1 good year and it happened while teams were discombobulated.

  11. “He’s already the best in the division coming off a national title at Bama. I can smell the fear from here. lol

    Allen has had 1 good year and it happened while teams were discombobulated.”
    _____________________________

    How have other ‘Bama national championship QB’s fared in the NFL?

    Did you see how his replacement did last weekend?

    Allen is in the MVP conversation, and was last year as well.

  12. skippyx says:
    September 9, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    There is a HUGE reason that Jones can’t do what Herbert did last year, a lack of exceptional QB talent
    ——————–
    If that is the case then Jeff George, Jamarcus Russell, Michael Vick are at the top of your list while Brady, Montana, Manning(s), Starr, Unitas, etc. don’t have what it takes.

  13. billsrthefuture says:
    September 9, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    “Mostly” is a stretch. Of course it’s a big part. But he doesn’t have what most would call an NFL arm.

    I’ve seen comparisons to Pennington, who I loved to watch play. I think that’s probably pretty close. He can win a lot of games for the Pats, but I doubt he’ll ever be the best QB in the division or close to it.

    —————————————

    If Mac wins he will be considered the best QB in the division. Mac’s arm right now is better than Manning’s coming off 4 neck surgeries and managed to win his division 4 years in a row, made it to 2 SBs winning 1. Mac’s arm is fine.

  14. jokersc says:
    September 9, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Most pro-ready, but lowest ceiling.

    ============

    Lots of QB’s have had high ceilings but never reached it … pretty happy with our rookie being named starter with the best pre-season of all rookie QB’s this year … the jury is still out on all these rookies though … we will see how they all play real soon!

  15. How have other ‘Bama national championship QB’s fared in the NFL?

    Did you see how his replacement did last weekend?

    Allen is in the MVP conversation, and was last year as well.

    ===================================================
    .
    How have other Wyoming QBs fared in the NFL?

  16. skippyx says:
    September 9, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    There is a HUGE reason that Jones can’t do what Herbert did last year, a lack of exceptional QB talent

    ===========

    Saban would never have started Jones at Alabama (I am sure there were other exceptional talents sitting on the bench behind Jones) if he lacked exceptional talent…He may not have exception talent in the running game…but he has it in all the other areas a QB needs…and based what I have seen he has a pretty darn good arm also.

  17. “Sounds like Pats fans are drinking the Kool-aid by the gallons..”

    Kool-Aid goes great after a victory, so why not?

  18. billsrthefuture says:
    September 9, 2021 at 4:15 pm
    “Maybe athletically…QB play in the NFL is mostly mental, thats been proven over and over and over, and Jones is very smart and learns quickly.”
    _______________________________

    “Mostly” is a stretch. Of course it’s a big part. But he doesn’t have what most would call an NFL arm.

    ____

    Its not a stretch at all…Allens progress from year one to year three was all mental, thats why hes better now. He didnt improve his arm strength or any other physical ability, he improved his ability to read defenses and where to throw the ball and timing….thats all upstairs.

  19. The hype is a bit over the top, though

    ____

    All the Bills fans were hyping Allen before he played a real game too. Funny how you have selective memory on that.

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