When Does Mac Jones Make His First Start?

When does he make his first start for the Patriots?


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Seels

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Jul 20, 2005
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Cam is ineffective as the team looks otherwise good, and he starts riding the bench by Nov1
 

Mooch

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Jul 15, 2005
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I think Cam starts the first two games and takes a massive hit the puts him in the hospital in game 2. Jones starts game 3 and....
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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I think he sits most or all of the first year unless Cam gets hurt. I doubt he's close to NFL ready mentally or physically.
 

jercra

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I'm the only vote for game 2+ in 2022? BB never trusts rookies. Even TB12 needed Bledsoe out of commission to get a start and we saw last season that even C being terrible didn't get someone else a look. I get that Hoyer and Stid aren't 1st round picks (in quality, not pedigree), but I just think it will take Cam not being able to go to get Jones in the game and I think he'll have to win the job from some veteran in 22 as well.
 

Archer1979

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I'd be surprised that he gets the job coming out of camp unless there's an injury. He'll be on clipboard duty until Cam is either woefully ineffective or out with an injury. I give either of those scenarios about four to eight weeks to transpire.
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
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I think he sits most or all of the first year unless Cam gets hurt. I doubt he's close to NFL ready mentally or physically.
Aren't you the guy who also told me he wasn't fast in a phonebooth like Brady? I mean, okay, fine, maybe not LIKE Brady since Brady is elite there, but all the scouting stuff I've read have said he's smart as a whip (4.00 GPA, double major, graduated in 3 years), is an excellent pocket passer, he's got clean mechanics, and he does a good job dealing with pocket pressure. Of course there are negatives, but the general consensus of the people who cover this professionally basically think he's tailor-made for the Pats style of offense (and these are people who said this before the draft).
 

ehaz

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Sep 30, 2007
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It's a really interesting question because I can totally see a scenario where Cam looks mostly the same as last season but the Patriots keep winning due to roster improvements and/or schedule. I imagine Bill is going to be slow with the Cam hook. We're going to hear "Cam is our QB" quite a few times in post-game pressers.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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My expectation is that Cam will be the unofficial #1 QB at the start of training camp, and will be the starter for Game 1 barring injury or a really bad camp. Jones will get some play during the exhibition games, but will be tasked with studying and running the #2 team by the end of camp.

There are 3 things that have to happen for Belichick to bench Cam in favor of Jones: the team has to lose, Newton has to play poorly, and Jones has to show he's ready. I honestly believe that Belichick and McDaniels are higher on Cam than most here, and probably still feel today that Cam gives them the best chance to win in 2021.

I personally will be rooting for Cam to succeed, earn each and every one of his incentives, and then get a payday with another team while the Pats pass the baton to Mac Jones in 2022.
 

joe dokes

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There are 3 things that have to happen for Belichick to bench Cam in favor of Jones: the team has to lose, Newton has to play poorly, and Jones has to show he's ready. I honestly believe that Belichick and McDaniels are higher on Cam than most here, and probably still feel today that Cam gives them the best chance to win in 2021.
Its also in that order. If Cam is so-so or worse, and the team is winning, he'll keep playing.
I think its physically (or mathematically) impossible for Belichick and McDaniels *not* to be higher on Cam than most here. I'm optimistic that he'll improve from bottom-tier to average and will keep Jones on the bench until late in the year.
 

simplyeric

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It's a really interesting question because I can totally see a scenario where Cam looks mostly the same as last season but the Patriots keep winning due to roster improvements and/or schedule. I imagine Bill is going to be slow with the Cam hook. We're going to hear "Cam is our QB" quite a few times in post-game pressers.
I think Cam will look slightly improved from last season (somewhat independent of the improved roster), and in combination with the improved roster, they are going to win games.
At some point Cam might be injured and not start, but I really think that injury start would go to Stidham, let him prove he isn't up to it, sub in Jones in the second quarter or something. It's all a mixed bag, and not good enough for BB to bench Cam when he's ready to go the following week.
Pats make the playoffs, Cam gets another year, gets the opening start, but then struggles and at some point Jones gets his shot.
 

Cousin Walter

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Jun 26, 2006
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I could see them doing the Alex Smith/Patrick Mahomes transition by design. Cam starts all of 2021 and the team does OK while Mac rides the bench until given (or made the heavy favorite to win) the job for 2022.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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Aren't you the guy who also told me he wasn't fast in a phonebooth like Brady? I mean, okay, fine, maybe not LIKE Brady since Brady is elite there, but all the scouting stuff I've read have said he's smart as a whip (4.00 GPA, double major, graduated in 3 years), is an excellent pocket passer, he's got clean mechanics, and he does a good job dealing with pocket pressure. Of course there are negatives, but the general consensus of the people who cover this professionally basically think he's tailor-made for the Pats style of offense (and these are people who said this before the draft).
yeah, he's not like Brady was the point. He's mediocre in the pocket. As to NFL ready... he threw more from RPO design concepts than anyone else, he did not throw all that many NFL concepts. Fields was my preferred QB, but he wasn't anywhere near NFL ready mentally either, hell I don't think Lawrence would be if he was going to a team with any intention of competing. This year's crop has particularly little experience in NFL level concepts.

I'm not THAT down on Jones, I think he's the 5th best QB (where he was taken) but also likely to be an NFL starter (his ceiling is just lower), but he's not NFL ready.
https://ftw.usatoday.com/lists/nfl-draft-49ers-quarterback-mac-jones-justin-fields
Ruiz was comparing Fields and Jones, but it's worth watching the Jones clips to get a feel for some of the negatives. It shows how some of the narrative on him doesn't really match the tape. Jones will 100% make every easy throw into a big window that you want, and that has value, but.... he doesn't have much mobility AND his arm isn't that great. The Jimmy G and Brady comps are fine, but his arm isn't as good as either, so unless he develops more arm strength through an NFL throwing program there is more of a ceiling on him than many give credit for, and the floor some analysts credit him with isn't really there.

I also think that if you see a consensus on him in scouting that is that high, you aren't reading enough people. I'd say for sure Ruiz is lowest on him, but the Ringer guys aren't big fans, Klassen has concerns, and a bunch of other respectable analysts see him more as a 2nd round or late 1st guy with flaws than a clear 1st like the other 4 QBs.
 

BaseballJones

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Unless Jones isn't a worker - which runs against what we've heard - it's crazy to think that he won't further develop arm strength. I know you didn't say he won't. I'm just pointing out that people citing his lack of arm strength...well...it's like they're forgetting that that's something that Brady developed in a major way, and it's something that Jones will definitely develop, unless people think he's a finished product, which, frankly, would be insane to think at this point.
 

bsj

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A lot depends on how the season goes. If we are winning...which I hope we are, then its the 2022 opener. If we are losing, then likely 2nd half of the season.
 

Cellar-Door

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Unless Jones isn't a worker - which runs against what we've heard - it's crazy to think that he won't further develop arm strength. I know you didn't say he won't. I'm just pointing out that people citing his lack of arm strength...well...it's like they're forgetting that that's something that Brady developed in a major way, and it's something that Jones will definitely develop, unless people think he's a finished product, which, frankly, would be insane to think at this point.
He could, I mentioned it in my first post.... but I can't think of a guy who had a really big arm strength jump. Brady had a small one, but he actually had a pretty good arm coming out of Michigan, be got a bit of zip, but a lot of what he really improved was his placement on deep balls.

My general feel on Jones is... if he gets a small bump in arm strength maybe he can be Kirk Cousins. If he doesn't he's going to be a fringe guy, which is fine for his rookie deal, but probably means we're looking to draft another QB in 2-3 years because we won't want to give him a second deal.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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He could, I mentioned it in my first post.... but I can't think of a guy who had a really big arm strength jump. Brady had a small one, but he actually had a pretty good arm coming out of Michigan, be got a bit of zip, but a lot of what he really improved was his placement on deep balls.

My general feel on Jones is... if he gets a small bump in arm strength maybe he can be Kirk Cousins. If he doesn't he's going to be a fringe guy, which is fine for his rookie deal, but probably means we're looking to draft another QB in 2-3 years because we won't want to give him a second deal.
You might be right. I mean, just on one level, it's really really hard to succeed in the NFL at QB. That's why 32 guys are starters, but out of that 32, there's not nearly as many that are "good" (relative to the level and need in the NFL for the QB to play well...obviously they're still elite QBs in the grand scheme of things). Odds are *against* Jones ever becoming a really good NFL QB, even with his pedigree and skill set.

I just think that at 15, he brings enough to the table for me to be excited about. I didn't want to trade up to get him, but if he was there at 15, I thought it was a great opportunity. I think he'll be good. But what do I know? (other than that the K pick last year was the dumbest draft thing I'd ever seen and I, like basically everyone else not named Belichick, was right about that)
 

Jnai

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Sep 15, 2007
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I think it really depends on whether or not he is ready to go into the game when, in the first or second game, Bill randomly pulls Cam in the middle of a series to put Jones in the lineup. If Jones struggles to find his helmet or wonders what's going on, he's not going to be seen for at least 6 more games. This might also happen during the preseason. We can call it the Bill Belichick groundhog test.
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
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I think it really depends on whether or not he is ready to go into the game when, in the first or second game, Bill randomly pulls Cam in the middle of a series to put Jones in the lineup. If Jones struggles to find his helmet or wonders what's going on, he's not going to be seen for at least 6 more games. This might also happen during the preseason. We can call it the Bill Belichick groundhog test.
The ole Brock Osweiler.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2014/11/11/denver-broncos-brock-osweiler-peyton-manning
 

Ferm Sheller

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Mar 5, 2007
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We don’t know yet when they are playing the Bucs.
Hadn't thought about this scenario until now, but can you imagine Cam getting hurt in practice the week leading up to the Bucs game, forcing Jones to not only make his first start, but also his first appearance, against Brady?

Though, I do wonder whether they'll keep 3 QBs so that they're not forced to play him. I think they will, with Stidham likely being the guy. (Three QBs isn't ideal, but I think they don't have a choice. We'll see.)