Speaking as an open, out, loud and proud Mac Jonesexual, I was fine with the doughy, soft cover, Mr. Stay Puft, 2020 version of him. The one with the total absence of muscle definition. I'm no body shamer, even in my professional athletes. It might have had a little something to do with the fact that I myself went through a body-issue period of my life. From about third grade through to joining the football team as a freshman, I was a lumpier version of Alabama McCorkle. With more of a belly overhang and a larger pair of moobs. When every trip to the beach or a pool led to an internal debate over whether leaving my t-shirt on would hide my blubberiness, or merely draw attention to it. Then again, my own childhood trauma aside, I didn't mind Jones lack of physical fitness due to his NCAA best 77.4% completions in his final season at Bama, his 41 touchdowns, 11.2 YPA, school record 4,500 yards, his National Championship, and his ability to command a huddle filled with future first round Alphas.
I said as much a month before the 2021 draft as I explained why I thought he'd be the perfect quarterback for the Patriots:
He's got a dad bod to be sure. But he's got the most technically refined throwing mechanics in the Class of '21. … Despite his seeming lack of athleticism, that 40-time (4.79) was at his Pro Day this week, and it was better than Mahomes, Mayfield and Sam Darnold. As was his 32-inch vertical. …
He's shown all the traits the Patriots seem to prioritize. And a guy looking bad with his shirt off didn't scare them off in 2000, why should it now?
Which brings us to this offseason. One that began with Jones declaring he was going to cut down on his worst vice. Kick the habit that has been holding him back and destroying his health:
Sure, there were scoffers. Pessimists who didn't believe he could defeat his demons. And to the doubters credit, kicking an addiction IS hard. It can be a long, difficult road, with setbacks and relapses often a part of the healing process. You need a lot of support and have to take it one day at a time.
Though it would appear he's been successful at getting that frozen buttercream-and-sugar monkey off his back:
Ma-ma-se, ma-ma-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa. Sweet mother of mercy, is this even the same human we saw at the Pro Bowl? I'd say he looks like he's been living at the gym, but that game was only six months ago. I don't know how you can transform a body this much in so little time without using the Super Soldier Serum and that metal tank they put Steve Rogers in.
This is Jones putting the world on notice. He had a perfect record in CFB's toughest conference while sporting the body of a 17-year-old Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast. He started 18 games as a rookie and returned his team to the playoffs while completing a higher percentage of his passes than Tom Brady, with a body like … well, rookie Tom Brady. Now he's heading into Year 2, absolutely cut. His physique ready to operate on the same plane as his next-level brain.
And all of a sudden, the question of who's the most jacked QB in the AFC East is not so cut-and-dried.
I will never, ever get sick of being right about Jones. And while I'll never wish a July away, camp can't start soon enough.