Mac Jones downplays one particular concern about Patriots offense
November 10th, 2022
The Patriots are, for a fact, telegraphing some of their offensive plays to the defense. But Mac Jones and Bill Belichick’s concern level isn’t as high as those on the outside looking in at a struggling unit.
Jones was asked about the recent issues the Patriots have had with opposing defenses calling out their plays on the field. Mark Daniels of MassLivereported after Sunday’s win that some offensive players said Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard called out plays like outside runs and screens. Belichick confirmed in his video conference the next day that both Leonard, and Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley in Week 8, had a read on what Jones and the offense were doing.
“Yeah, so right Mark [Daniels], we definitely want to prevent that,” Belichick said, with a slight chuckle. “Yeah, I thought that there were two or three plays for sure that Leonard really got a big jump on and stopped us basically on those plays. Mosley got a couple of those a couple weeks ago in the Jets game. It looked like Mosley almost heard the play in the huddle. He was on it so fast. Leonard had a couple like that, too.
“So whether that’s something we were giving away or just something that he anticipated based on whatever the keys were that he might have picked up, we certainly want to try to prevent that.”
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Belichick may have acknowledged the problem and the need to fix it, but he certainly doesn’t sound particularly concerned about accomplishing that over the bye week. Neither does Jones.
“I think, like I always say, in the NFL, there’s good players everywhere,” Jones said Wednesday. “We watch film, we sometimes know what teams are doing, sometimes we don’t. I think people just watch a lot of film and there’s good players out there, so you just have to give credit where credit’s due. Obviously, we want to fix anything that we’re giving away, but at the end of the day, we’ve got plenty and we just need to do better.”
The real person to ask about this concern is Matt Patricia, the Patriots’ offensive-coordinator-without-the-title. Despite the lack of outward stress over the matter, Belichick and Jones still confirmed that Patricia has to create more unpredictability within the offense. If the defense is thinking “screen” like Leonard apparently was last Sunday, it could make a big difference to have something else ready for that look. There hasn’t been enough of that in recent weeks, and it’s showing.
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Bill Belichick and Mac Jones #10 look on during pregame at Hard Rock Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Jones and Belichick’s reactions to the questions about tipping plays were a reflection of a team that’s rebounded from an awful loss to the Bears with two straight wins, and is above water heading into its bye week. They have plenty of time to add new wrinkles to the offense before their second matchup with the Jets.
But it’s interesting enough that Belichick and Jones admitted their need to improve in that area in the first place.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.