Patriots’ Bill Belichick noncommittal on Mac Jones as next year’s starter

 

After another disappointing season, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is getting right to work on ways to improve ahead of the 2023 season. But when asked by reporters on Monday if quarterback Mac Jones would be a part of that picture, Belichick appeared noncommittal.

During a press conference on Monday morning, Belichick was asked if the second-year quarterback would return as the Patriots starter or if his position was among the ones that would be reevaluated in the offseason.

Mac Jones of the New England Patriots attempts a pass against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, New York.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

“I think Mac has the ability to play quarterback in this league,” Belichick said.

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“We have to all work together to try to find the best way as a football team – which obviously quarterback’s an important position – to be more productive than we were this year. So that’s incumbent on all of us. We’ll all work together on that, and again, look for better results.”

Mac Jones of the New England Patriots warms up before the Buffalo Bills game on Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, New York.
(Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Belichick offered a brief reflection of New England’s year, its second losing season in three years, concluding with Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.

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“Our record is right around .500, which is what it’s been kind of all year. With that, some good things and some not so good things. Nobody’s satisfied with that. That’s not our goal and we need to try to improve on that – need to improve on that.”

Belichick added that they will begin work later today to “evaluate everything,” as they do each year.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones wears a shirt in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during practice, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

“Robert [Kraft] and I will talk about that, we’ll talk about that toward the staff. Certainly individual conversations with many of the players as we always do – well, all the players but there’s some that are obviously more urgent or will be more timely than others. But it will be a comprehensive course of action, as it always is.”

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In 14 games this season, Jones finished statistically worse off than in his rookie year with 2,997 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“You look at each year of your football life and you want to get better as a player and I did, I learned a lot and I think a lot of guys on your team learned a lot but it was not the progress that any of us wanted to make,” Jones said after the game Sunday.