New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton said tenderfoot Mac Jones is so quiet at times that he attempts to break “the Da Vinci Code of the seriousness,” however that didn’t prevent Jones from searching Newton out before Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Washington Football Team.
“He came and talked to me, and we talked it out about just his expectation. Every young quarterback goes through it — the excitement, the anticipation,” Newton relayed after the Patriots’ 22-13 win at Gillette Stadium. “He wants to be so perfect, and I see his preparation is always pristine. That’s what I admire about him.”
Jones eased Newton following two series on Thursday night, getting a standing ovation from numerous in participation when he took the field with 55 seconds staying in the first quarter.
He played five series and went 13-of-19 passing for 87 yards, without any touchdowns and no interferences. The first series came behind the team’s first-unit offensive line, a sign of how the coaching staff sees his advancement to date.
The Patriots scored two field goals while Jones was at quarterback, despite the fact that there effectively might have been one touchdown. Apparently his best throw of the night was one of his deficiencies, a deep 34-yard pass down the left sideline on his first drive that went off receiver Kristian Wilkerson’s hands in the end zone.
“It was a great ball by Mac,” Wilkerson said. “I have just to adjust better to it [and] do my part.”
Coach Bill Belichick additionally had Jones run the no-huddle offense to open the third quarter, clarifying that the team didn’t get the ball late in the second quarter to set up that kind of circumstance.
Of Jones’ overall performance commanding the offense, Belichick said: “Some good things, some things we can improve on. That’s true for everybody.”
Patriots fans gave Jones acclaim, with some beginning a serenade in the stadium trusting he would return the game late in the final quarter. In the interim, partners have noticed the steps he’s making – on and off the field.
“He’s working, learning from everybody, attacking it,” veteran running back James White said. “It’s not easy being a quarterback in this league.”
“It definitely seemed like he had some poise when he went out there,” added linebacker Josh Uche.
The Patriots currently start preparations for their second preseason game, next Thursday in Philadelphia against the Eagles. The teams will hold two days of practices together on Monday and Tuesday.
Newton, in his 11th NFL season, anticipated turning the page with the first-round draft pick from Alabama.
“Everybody learns different, but he’s just going to keep getting better, and we’re going to be here for each other along this whole process,” Newton said.