There's a used in rhetoric called petitio principii. It roughly translates to "begging the question," and refers to a fallacy in which you put forth as excepted truth something you should be establishing through argument. For example, "Because Jerry is so attractive and charming, women want to be with him and men want to be him," without ever demonstrating Jerry is, in fact, attractive or charming. This premise is pretty much the foundation of most Boston sports media, and talk radio in general.
The latest example of which is the 'rumors' regarding the Patriots supposed interest in trading Mac Jones. The origin of which came from Mike Florio wondering out loud about the Raiders' possible interest in Jones and a comment from Albert Breer that the Patriots like Bailey Zappe:
tl;dr: A couple of throwaway lines lead to a mountain range of speculation that Bill Belichick is anxious to ditch Jones in favor of a guy with a college career spent facing UT Martin and two games experience in the pros. Because McCorkle got visibly frustrated at times last year and swore in the direction of Matt Patricia. (Just not nearly as frustrated or with anywhere close to the number of swear words as every Patriots fan in the country. But I digress.) This despite the obvious evidence that Belichick recognizes the mistake of putting Patricia in charge, given that he's replaced him with Bill O'Brien, the one man on the planet who has both coached the system Jones played so well in as a rookie and worked with Jones himself at Alabama.
If there was a power struggle in Foxboro between the quarterback and the coordinator, Mac Jones came out of it like the US did Operation Desert Storm. So to assume they brought in exactly the offensive staff suited to Jones, just to then pivot to Zappe, is lunacy. Just don't ever underestimate the number of lunatics among us.
Fortunately, I'm not the only sane voice crying out over the din of the Looney Toons. Former podcast guest Tom E. Curran went on Rich Eisen's show to talk sense to a nonsensical world:
Asked if the Pats are legitimately considering trading their franchise QB:
“Absolutely, positively not. That would happen over Robert Kraft's dead body. We'll talk about that in 2024 if it's another mediocre season. But this notion that the Patriots would move on from Mac Jones after last July at the outset of training camp when Bill Belichick talked about Mac Jones making a drastic improvement from an already highly impressive rookie year -- if they now want to move on from him and his $4.36 million salary or whatever it is because of what happened in 2022, who's holding the smoking gun for what happened? That coach! The decisions.
"I think that if he walked to Robert Kraft and said, 'I'm thinking of moving on from Mac here, he was really surly," I think Robert Kraft would say, 'Are you out of your mind? He's making $4 million. He was a good player last year. He's a bad player now…Why is that?' Then you'd have to say, because we did nothing to help him. So I think any speculation that Mac Jones would be trade bait or a trade object in 2023 is coo coo."
Jones was "surly" in 2022 precisely because he had every right to be. Like Tom E. said, in July Belichick noted the big improvement Jones made from his rookie year, after having a full season in the program. What set him back was a new system implemented by coaches who had never handled an offense before. To use his own metaphor, Patricia was a finish carpenter asked to fix a sink. O'Brien is a plumber. Well said.
Now to be clear, I'm not saying Mr. Kraft is vetoing any trade proposals. Though I know that's where the conversation is going to be taken. I'm saying he won't have to, because nobody in the organization is looking to make a trade. O'Brien's presence here, and the fact he's brought his long time assistant Will Lawing with him to coach the tight ends, is all the proof anyone should need.
On that note, the tight ends Curran mentions on the 2011Super Bowl team where O'Brien was the coordinator - Rob Gronkowski and whatshisname - combined for almost 170 catches, over 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns. Roughly four times the production and 12 times the scoring that Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith combined for last season. These hirings were done for everyone's benefit, but Jones' most of all.
Finally, and this is probably something I'll do a full post on one of these days, here's all the explanation you need to explain why they've build the coaching staff around Jones. This is O'Brien going in depth into one of the base concepts of the Erhardt-Perkins system he was raised in, and that Jones took to so well as a rookie.
I could listen to this all day.
Mac Jones is the Patriots future. And the future has never looked brighter than it does right now. So let's knock off this trade talk ragtime right now.