There are a number of ways to protect a rookie quarterback, whether from opponents or himself. But pass protection always starts up front, at the most fundamental level. Keep your QB upright, especially a rookie who’s adjusting to NFL speed.
Along the Patriots’ offensive line, there’s a level of dissatisfaction.
The Miami Dolphins hit Jones nine times in their 17-16 win in Week 1. Zero sacks, but Elandon Roberts nearly had one if not for a roughing the passer flag after tackling Jones too low. By the Patriots’ standards for what should be one of their best positional groups, the rookie took a beating.
On Sunday, they face a New York Jets defense helmed by new head coach Robert Saleh, a unit that hit Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold eight times in Week 1. Keeping Jones clean in the pocket is among the areas of greatest urgency for Week 2.
“I definitely think our quarterback got hit too much [against Miami],” center David Andrews told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Wednesday. “[Jones] did a good job of staying in there and making those throws. But as an offensive lineman, you never want your quarterback to take those hits.”
According to Evan Lazar of CLNS Media, Patriots offensive linemen collectively allowed 13 total pressures to the Dolphins, seven hits and six hurries. The only clean sheets were for starting right tackle Trent Brown, who only played seven snaps before injuring his calf, and fill-in right tackle Yasir Durant (23 snaps).