Matt Rhule: I knew Mac Jones would be a longtime pro no matter where he ended up

NFL: OCT 31 Patriots at Chargers
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Matt Rhule and the rest of the Panthers’ coaching staff had a chance to get an up-close and personal look at quarterback Mac Jones during the Senior Bowl in January.

While Rhule came away impressed with the former Alabama passer, the Panthers elected to trade for quarterback Sam Darnold and select cornerback Jaycee Horn at No. 8 overall.

Now Rhule will coach against Jones in Sunday’s matchup between Carolina and New England. He told Patriots reporters on Thursday that Jones handled everything well at the Senior Bowl and it took about 10 minutes to see he could be successful at the highest level.

“To me, no matter where Mac ended up, I knew he was going to be a longtime pro, because he just has all the right qualities and all the right things that are essential to being a great player,” Rhule said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “That was evident to me from the very beginning.”

Rhule noted that he’d spent some time trying to recruit Jones while at Baylor. And when Rhule coached Jones in January, he saw solid traits.

“He’s just got juice,” Rhule said. “Spending time with him, you could tell he loves football. He just won the national championship game and he’s out there practicing with us.

“You could see how intelligent he was the first day. We put a lot of install in, a lot of words in, just to see if they could recite it, and you could see pretty quickly he had a feel for the game. He had some moxie, and he was really, really intelligent and accurate and could throw the deep ball at a high level.”

Jones has piloted the Patriots to a 4-4 record, completing 68 percent of his passes for 1,996 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

Darnold, who may not play this week with a concussion, has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.

17 responses to “Matt Rhule: I knew Mac Jones would be a longtime pro no matter where he ended up

  1. Agree with the above comments. If you thought so highly of him, you had a golden chance.
    Now there’s rumbles Panthers would mortgage their future for Watson.
    Sounds like they’re desperate now and grasping.

  2. Why lie and make yourself look silly? You obviously didn’t think those things or you have no idea how to build a roster.

  3. All the pundits talk about Jones’ deep ball ability. During the draft he missed most of the long passes(that the public saw on TV), including hitting an overhead light. How many deep balls has he completed for the Pats? Perhaps BB can get OBJ and give him a real deep threat to prove this skill.

  4. NFL teams overlooked Mac because he had star receivers at Alabama. But a lot of the receivers success had to do with Mac Jones throwing to them. Waddle and Devonta Smith are not putting up the same numbers in the NFL they did with Mac Jones. You can say Mac Jones turned very good WRs into superstars.

  5. The pundits all thought the 49ers moved up to #3 to draft Jones. They outsmarted themselves. Jones is obviously ready to be a high leverl starter while the 49ers ‘KidTrey’ is still a project.

  6. Before each game, Belichick praises people on the other team. This seems like Carolina is doing it to New England first. Also, I firmly believe if Belichick had Darnold instead of Jones, Darnold would have been the better QB at this point.

  7. Building a roster and especially at the most important position on the field takes more the playing musical chairs at the position for the last two years. The proof is in the results for the Carolina Panthers.

  8. toothfairyretributionmanifesto says:
    November 4, 2021 at 12:53 pm
    Not a chance he could succeed with the Chicago Bears.

    1 1 Rate This


    But, but..We were told it was all Brady.


  9. You draft for potential that high. Mac Jones is near his ceiling. Lance is a generational talent in the right situation that should allow him to maximize that potential.

  10. He isn’t dynamic, more robotic. He is limited, and will be a functionaries his whole career. The spent a fortune to surround him with weapons and he’s still just OK.

  11. Jones is nowhere near his ceiling. He shows growth and improvement constantly. I understand niners fans trying to justify the Lance selection. Its okay. You like your guy. But the question would be – In a do over, would you take Mac Jones at 12, or three first rounders and a third for Trey Lance?

  12. I think Belichick is one the greatest and most innovative coaches of all time, but

    With Tom Brady as his starting QB: 224-66

    With anybody else as his starting QB: 51-66

    Doesn’t tell the whole story, but you’d have to agree, it sure does tell a lot of it.

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