Matthew Slater: I can’t believe how quickly Mac Jones has grasped the Patriots’ culture

NFL: NOV 18 Patriots at Falcons
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No Patriots player has been on the team as long as special teams captain Matthew Slater, who is in his 14th season in New England. And Slater says rookie quarterback Mac Jones comes across like an old veteran.

Slater says that Jones isn’t just doing his job in the way he throws the football on Sundays. He’s also fitting in with the culture that has made the Patriots six-time Super Bowl winners.

“This kid is very serious about what he’s doing. He spends more time in this building than a lot of guys I can ever remember here,” Slater told Mike Reiss of ESPN. “I can’t believe how quickly he’s developed, as far as his understanding of the things we’re trying to do here — and that’s not just offensively. I’m talking about overall culture.”

When Bill Belichick made Jones the starter as a rookie, some thought that meant the Patriots were building for the future more than they were trying to win in the present. But Jones is playing well enough that the Patriots have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, this year. Few expected that in April.

61 responses to “Matthew Slater: I can’t believe how quickly Mac Jones has grasped the Patriots’ culture

  1. Mac is awesome.
    Rookies will make mistakes, but you know that when Mac drops back he is thinking smart things, not stupid, panicky things like the other rookie QB’s.
    We’ve got a future HOFer here!

  2. I just watched the first episode of “The Man in the Arena,” the Brady docu-series. It dealt with the Patriots’ 2001 season. I’ll tell ya, Mac Jones looks eerily like Brady did in his (essentially) rookie season. Obviously, it would be ridiculous in the extreme to predict a similar career for Jones. C’mon. But it’s clear that New England is set at the QB position for the next 15 years and the Patriots will contend in most of those years.

  3. They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:

    Only 2 wins vs a team with a winning record, and one of the wins was vs the Browns during their downward spiral. So he has no impressive wins, and really only one good win. But he’s the next Tom Brady.

  4. I cannot take another “Brady” on the Patriots. This needs to crash and burn.

    -The rest of the AFC East

  5. This season’s optimism, talent infusion and of course, results, have been a far cry from last year when the “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” plan with made all Patriot fans shake their heads because we’d never seen that before.

    I agree that the quick emergence of Mac Jones has been a huge factor in all of it. Competent quarterback play is back after a one year hiatus.

  6. I didn’t like the draft pick but Mac is proving me wrong. Even in 3 of their 4 early season losses they were 1-2 plays away from winning. That fumble on the 5 yard line with 30 seconds left week 1 against the Dolphins might end up screwing them bad.

  7. jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 9:56 am
    They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:

    Only 2 wins vs a team with a winning record, and one of the wins was vs the Browns during their downward spiral. So he has no impressive wins, and really only one good win. But he’s the next Tom Brady.

    ——

    He’s a rookie QB on a 5 game winning streak in the NFL. Two losses were down to the wire with the Cowboys and Bucs. That’s impressive. Period.

  8. “Jones is playing well enough that the Patriots have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, this year”

    Given no rookie QB has ever led a team to the Super Bowl, and only a handful have made conference championships, I’d rather say “legitimate playoff aspirations”

    If the Pats can win at least one playoff game in this postseason, they’ve already exceeded expectations

  9. Hmm I said Mac Jones would be the best QB in the Draft, along with Trevor Lawrence who is dealing with a horrible HC and losing culture and not a lot to work with in Jacksonville. Smart teams always take the traditional QBs, bad teams always draft the Combine All Stars

  10. jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 9:56 am
    They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:
    ———————————————–
    They’ve beaten down everyone they’ve faced in the last 5 weeks.
    Has anyone else done that?

  11. He’s CLEARLY the best of the bunch regarding rookie QB’s. Someone said the kid could throw a football through a keyhole from 50 yards away. May be a slight exaggeration, but he’s good, works hard, and is respected by his peers. Pretty good formula for a winner. Happy for the Patriots after losing Brady. You go, young man. Keep on doing what you’re doing….

  12. I think the Pats have done well lately, but Mac has a long way to go, he is weak in the red zone and offensively the Pats aren’t good enough yet, although much better than last year.

  13. Actually they have not beaten the Dolphins…

    They are 7-4…not 8-4.

    BB will be the first to tell you 7-4 means jack s.. in the NFL

    What they have done is play competent, complimentary football, led offensively by a rookie that is a great fit for the Patriots brand of football these last few weeks!

    BB is zigging when everyone is zagging…heaviest OLINE in the league…3 very strong backs…with James White it would be even more effective…and a solid defense…with flexible players that can adjust to a specific game plan/opponent vs the offensive juggernauts with equally offensive defenses!!!

    Is is enough for the Super Bowl? Who knows…but it is enough to make everyone nervous about that prospect…and that works for me just fine with a rookie QB at the helm!

  14. 1. He wanted to play for NE.
    2. 4.0 GPA math major: learning not the issue.
    3. Slater says Mac is adapting.

    The guy who fake-signed his comment ‘Rest of the AFC East’ has it right. We will see, but the kid has moxie. He went to tackle the interceptor last week – unlike Bridgewater. Wise? Maybe not. Endearing? Yes.

  15. Should be pointed out that Mac Jones went from one sophisticated, winning culture to another in coming out of Nick Saban’s Alabama. Still, it was up to him to embrace his opportunity, and he surely has, thus far. As a player, the thing that jumps out at me is his accuracy – from, say,25 yards in, his is the best ball placement I have ever seen,and I began watching football in the 1960s. If he can develop more arm strength, there won’t be anything he can’t do as a passer. Sadly, there are talking heads on the NFL Network, and especially on ESPN, who mock the kid,referring to his ‘popgun” arm, and saying that he’s reached his ceiling.You’d have to be living in a tiny house and be a real fast climber to do that in only eleven pro games.Reading between the lines,it’s is rapid grasp of the pro game that has made them bitter.

  16. Jones had one of the most unusual College resumes, playing an all SEC team schedule because of covid and he lead the Crimson Tide to the Championship… Its looking really BAD for the 15 ‘scouting talents’ that passed on Jones in that draft…

    Mind boggling to think 15 teams could have kept the Patriots from getting such a talented Franchise qb so quickly…

  17. Not a bit of blind bias in any of these comments. How many SB wins does Mac already have in the Fanboys mind? He has played the worst teams, not his fault, so pump the breaks Fanboys. He maybe the real deal but
    Ets wait till he plays the winners then you can do your usual over the sickening crap.

  18. turkeycreekjackjohnson says:
    November 27, 2021 at 10:04 am
    This season’s optimism, talent infusion and of course, results, have been a far cry from last year when the “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” plan with made all Patriot fans shake their heads because we’d never seen that before.

    I agree that the quick emergence of Mac Jones has been a huge factor in all of it. Competent quarterback play is back after a one year hiatus.

    24 3 Rate This

    ————————

    Umm, there was a pandemic. The greatest teacher of all time wasn’t allowed to teach.

    It’s honestly bizarre how you people try to remove a context. Going 7-9 without a qb during a pandemic was a great coaching job and he’s GM and Coach of the Year this year, and it ain’t close.

    Back end of a rebuild and a pandemic meant problems. The NFL’s 2020 season is one big asterisk in the annals.

  19. Jones has great timing and poise. His weaknesses are his deep ball and not getting out of the way on turnovers. Above average for a rookie and by far the best in his class. Although the next 4 games will be the real test for him this season. Bucs and Cowboys were given losses anyway the Bills and Titans certainly aren’t.

  20. patsfan1818 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 11:21 am
    Jones has great timing and poise. His weaknesses are his deep ball and not getting out of the way on turnovers. Above average for a rookie and by far the best in his class. Although the next 4 games will be the real test for him this season. Bucs and Cowboys were given losses anyway the Bills and Titans certainly aren’t.

    0 0 Rate This

    —————-

    False. He throws a great deep ball with quick release and good trajectory.

    It’s better than Brady’s who always underthrew it with too much of an arc on the trajectory.

  21. Yet Wentz has put up better numbers and patriot clowns call him a bust and overrated so that shows how hypocritical they are on everything.

  22. “Legitimate Super Bowl aspirations” feels like maybe a bridge too far, mostly because the Pats are still having problems getting into the endzone on a regular basis. That said, Jones is clearly the real thing. Once he’s familiar enough with the pro game and with NE’s offense that he can play instinctively instead of having to think (sometimes twice) about everything he’s doing, all bets are off. This year has been fun. Next year will be a blast.

  23. We all know this is setting up to be a Patriots vs. Buccaneers super bowl. I’m not sure how to feel about it if it does take place, though. I wouldn’t want to see either team lose. If you’re a Patriots fan, you wouldn’t want to see a sixth super bowl loss.

  24. If you think Jones is good now, just wait until he successfully completes B.B.’s graduate-level class on cheating!

  25. iloveyouneighbor says:
    November 27, 2021 at 10:15 am
    jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 9:56 am
    They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:
    ———————————————–
    They’ve beaten down everyone they’ve faced in the last 5 weeks.
    Has anyone else done that
    ———————————————
    In that 5 games, they beat the Jets, Falcons, Panthers. They beat the Browns who just beat the Lions 13-10, and they squeezed out a 3 point win vs the Chargers.

    How many of those teams will make the playoffs? How many will be in the conference championship game? How many are SB contenders? And we announcing him for 5 games vs average to below average teams?

  26. touchback6 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 11:25 am
    patsfan1818 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 11:21 am
    Jones has great timing and poise. His weaknesses are his deep ball and not getting out of the way on turnovers. Above average for a rookie and by far the best in his class. Although the next 4 games will be the real test for him this season. Bucs and Cowboys were given losses anyway the Bills and Titans certainly aren’t.

    0 0 Rate This

    —————-

    False. He throws a great deep ball with quick release and good trajectory.

    It’s better than Brady’s who always underthrew it with too much of an arc on the trajectory.

    ——

    You assured us all Stidham was the future. You even claimed he had the “best preseason ever”!

  27. When comparing Mac to Brady ( which we should not do) Very few people talk about how durable Brady was/is. Brady compares to no one (all you Brady haters) when it comes to his health playing over 20 years! Point is Mac could turn out to be a very good QB but will he be available for every game!! Time will tell.

  28. jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 12:28 pm
    iloveyouneighbor says:
    November 27, 2021 at 10:15 am
    jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 9:56 am
    They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:
    ———————————————–
    They’ve beaten down everyone they’ve faced in the last 5 weeks.
    Has anyone else done that
    ———————————————
    In that 5 games, they beat the Jets, Falcons, Panthers. They beat the Browns who just beat the Lions 13-10, and they squeezed out a 3 point win vs the Chargers.

    How many of those teams will make the playoffs? How many will be in the conference championship game? How many are SB contenders? And we announcing him for 5 games vs average to below average teams?
    ————————————————-
    How many teams has Mac had the opportunity to beat in the last 5 weeks?
    How many has he beaten?
    Yeah, that’s right. Every single one of them.
    It is funny to watch the fans of perennially lesser teams wallow in jealousy and disbelief that the Pats just scored another Brady!
    Let’s keep in touch, OK? I’d love to enjoy your compounding misery as the season rolls on!

  29. He’s the real deal. Just look at how decisive the way he throws the ball. His poise in the pocket is beyond a rookie player. He is what I enjoy watching in the quarterback position. He gets it.

  30. iloveyouneighbor says:
    November 27, 2021 at 10:15 am
    jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 9:56 am
    They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:
    ———————————————–
    They’ve beaten down everyone they’ve faced in the last 5 weeks.
    Has anyone else done that?
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Two of those teams are currently 2-8. Congrats. A three point win against the Chargers is a beat down? Congrats. I’m not saying the Pats are good or bad. Just disagreeing with your statement.

  31. Christopher Allan says:
    November 27, 2021 at 1:09 pm
    iloveyouneighbor says:
    November 27, 2021 at 10:15 am
    jg2040 says:
    November 27, 2021 at 9:56 am
    They have beaten; Jets(2x), Dolphins, Falcons, Texans, Panthers, Browns, Chargers:
    ———————————————–
    They’ve beaten down everyone they’ve faced in the last 5 weeks.
    Has anyone else done that?
    —————————————————————————————————-
    Two of those teams are currently 2-8. Congrats. A three point win against the Chargers is a beat down? Congrats. I’m not saying the Pats are good or bad. Just disagreeing with your statement.

    0 1 Rate This

    ————————

    It’s called the eye test. Dorks like you who never played the sport, play fantasy and look at box scores are clueless.

    -A garbage TD late by the Chargers is irrelevant.

    They outplayed TB and Dallas. Anyone who watches their 3phases knows they are the best team in the conference right now.

  32. Yawn. Can’t think of another club that spends as much time as the pat sculpting their own mythology. Maybe the yankees?

  33. boogiewstu says:
    November 27, 2021 at 1:31 pm
    Yawn. Can’t think of another club that spends as much time as the pat sculpting their own mythology. Maybe the yankees?

    1 1 Rate This

    ————————-

    Your jealousy is deicious.

    I can’t think of a sports team in my 40+ years on earth people are more jealous of.

    Enjoy!

  34. He’s had a superb rookie season. The coaching staff has excelled with giving him appropriate responsibility for his experience level, and he’s grown accordingly. He’s taken some tough hits, and gets right back up. His decision-making exceeds what we see on display from many veterans. Once he gets better at “throwing receivers open” he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. My only concern with him is his weak arm. It’s not noticeable on the long ball so much as it is on the intermediate throws. The ball takes a loooong time to travel when he throws from a hash to the opposite side of the field. Watch his intermediate throws as compared to Lamar Jackson’s. They stay in the air at least 1/2 a second longer. This was a weak area with Brady too. He focused on his rotational torque and was able to shave 0.7 seconds off the time of ball travel. Hopefully Jones will realize the same.

  35. I guess it’s worth mentioning they outplayed Dallas and Tampa , but not worth mentioning Houston outplayed them. But hey, whatever fits the narrative right.

  36. As I said last year. Watch out this year! Last year, the Pat’s were ONE win from a .500 season at 9-7. This is without Brady for the first time, the Pat’s had by FAR the most Vet’s sit out the season. I said- with these young’uns a year with BB, without the Vet’s. So, after last year, we get ALL our VET’s back, the rookie class just had a great year (considering the circumstances)and should make the 2nd year leap, the Pat’s went nut’s on Free agency, drafted well (i.e Jone;s). This team is setting up for Superbowl runs for the next 10 years or so. So, I TOLD YA !!!!!

  37. Y’all keep saying “LoOk WhO ThEY BeAt”. I think some of you forget that these teams weren’t just beat. They were absolutely demolished. It wasn’t just a “win”

  38. His biggest test will be playing in bad weather. Tom from California but played at Michigan so he was used to bad weather games. Mac Jones from Florida played in the SEC and has not played in bad weather games.

  39. While it’s interesting to see how rookies do, the real test is how they are doing after their third year.

    Do they continue to improve like Brady did?
    Does the league catch on? (Wentz and Goff at first did well, then declined)

    If you can find an above average QB you have done well. I find it interesting that the 4 QBs taken ahead of him (Lawrence, Wilson, Lance, Fields) haven’t done well.

  40. “But Jones is playing well enough that the Patriots have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, this year.”

    No. Their defense is playing well. Mac has been pretty solid but at the same time the team isn’t asking him to do much besides manage the game. Mac Jones is a game manager, a good game manager, but still a game manager. Can the Patriots hang with the best of the best? Doubtful.

  41. boogiewstu says:
    November 27, 2021 at 1:31 pm
    Yawn. Can’t think of another club that spends as much time as the pat sculpting their own mythology. Maybe the Yankees?
    ————————————
    How many Superbowls does it take until it’s not mythology anymore?

  42. absolutevisuals says:
    November 27, 2021 at 3:26 pm
    “. . . Can the Patriots hang with the best of the best? Doubtful.”
    ————————————————
    Who is The Best of the Best? KC? Arizona? TN?
    At this point in the season I’d bet on the Pats against any of them.

  43. Very impressed by Mac, and I was bummed on draft day when he dropped to the Pats. I knew BB would be able to work w/ a QB like that.

    However, it’s a bit early to conclude that he’s the best QB from that draft. I don’t know where those pronouncements are coming from. He for sure has the best situation right now. The other guys are asked to do a lot more, and aren’t being coached as well (ergo, they’re making more mistakes and look worse).

  44. LMAO @Touchback6 calling 2020 an asterisk year for the NFL, when we all know that he wouldn’t say that had the Patriots won the super bowl last year. Also LMAO at the idea that Mac Jones throws a better deep ball than Tom Brady. Just totally false.

  45. The defense has molded into a good unit. The offense sputters. 45% on third down conversions. 22 sacks allowed. Mac is doing better than a rookie, perhaps, was expected to do. But there are some big games coming. Buffalo and Indy are tops in takeaways.

  46. When I saw Mac twisting the ankle of an opposing team’s fallen linemen I knew he would fit right in with the Patriots.

  47. jaytee says:
    November 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm
    LMAO @Touchback6 calling 2020 an asterisk year for the NFL

    ——-

    It was an asterisk year.

    * loses bet agreeing to no longer post on PFT but refuses to honor terms of bet

  48. One thing he is definitely the best at is vocal fry. I’m sure many coeds are jealous of him. At first, I thought he had a cold or was hoarse from practice, but now I know he’s manipulating his voice the way teenage girls do

  49. So many lazy takes on Mac Jones… not just on here, but from many of the “experts” as well. It’s funny to keep reading repeats of the following:

    1. Mac Jones is only succeeding because he went to Alabama.

    Great point, I mean it’s not like Clemson or Ohio State have great coaching staffs and dozens of players in the league.

    2. Mac’s only having success because they’re not asking him to do too much.

    Another great point! Those other coaching staffs are all asking their rookie QBs to do way more than read the defense, make the smart throw, and not turn it over.

    3. Mac might be playing okay, but his “ceiling” is so much lower than the others.

    Luckily success in the NFL is predicated on WINNING, and victories aren’t just awarded via some sort of QB Skills Competition each Sunday. Also, I know of another Patriots QB who had a low ceiling.

    4. Yeah, but Jones is only having early success because he landed in the perfect situation.

    You can’t argue with that. Though I suspect we’d be seeing more out of Lawrence or Fields and uttering the same phrase if they had “landed” in Foxborough as well.

    Bottom line is Jones is playing very well, exceeding expectations, and nobody will know just how good he or any of the others will be for at least another couple of season. As a Patriots fan, I’m thrilled with the way things are setting up for the future.

  50. The kid looks competent so far. He can run the offense, slide in the pocket, identify the open guy, and make accurate throws. He doesn’t panic and make dumb plays when under pressure.

    Will he last 10-15 years? No idea. Let’s see him finish 1 season before we anoint him the second coming, but so far he has been impressive and has exceeded expectations on the Patriots.

  51. Of all the criticisms of Jones & the Pas, the most repeated yet easily refuted is the team & player’s supposed difficulties in the red zone.

    Let’s get things right. The Pats are 6-1 since losing by 2 on a missed 57 yd field goal in a tropical storm to the Bucs.

    During this 6-1 run, the Pats have outscored their opponents 223-112. During this run, the Pats have scored more points while giving upnfewer than any team in the league. Jones has a top 3 completions percentage and its on track to throw for 4,000+ yds. Should the Pats make the playoffs, history will be Jones’ witness.

  52. Nobody knows the future. But here in the present, this kid is humble, respectfull and doing his job well. If the Patriots dont win another game this year I still want Jones on this team. This has been apleasant surprise to everyone who follows this team. Go MAC GO

  53. Allen got the HUGE contract. Jones is a rookie.
    Its obvious which one has more pressure on him to perform flawlessly.

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