Report: Mac Jones Went Outside the Organization for Help Last Year and Belichick is Still 'Pissed Off' About It
It's a tired, worn out cliche that's included in every piece of advice you ever hear about marriage, but that doesn't make it untrue. And it is that sometimes things are said in the heat of a argument that can't be taken back. So for the sake of the relationship, you have to either be careful about the words you use, or learn to forgive and forget. As the lawyers put it, "You can't unring a bell." And when your blood is running hot, you can say things you don't mean. Which I think is part of the reason why, according to Herodotus in the 4th century BC, the ancient Persians would debate every issue twice. Once drunk, and once sober. And if they reached the same conclusion both times, they'd know they were right and do that thing.
Now as we put the debacle that was 2022 further into our rearview, it seems more plausible that some things said and done in the hot crucible of the Patriots season might not be forgiven or forgotten. Specifically, though not limited to, this:
And according to former podcast guest Tom E. Curran, it goes deeper than just an outburst in the heat battle:
Boston.com - Now months removed from the season, it appears Belichick hasn’t gotten over Jones’s action to reach out to non-Patriots people for help. NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran said that he was recently told Jones’s decision to seek help from other people “really pissed Bill Belichick off” during an appearance on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego with Arcand.”
“As we know, a disloyalty in Bill’s mind is almost worse than bad play,” Curran said of the situation. “Mac, even though you could say it’s ironic because he’s trying to get better and he’s wondering ‘Are we supposed to be doing it this way?’ And he’s asking around the football world about it. That effort to improve was showing up the Matt Patricia-Joe Judge contingent that Bill put in charge. When Bill caught wind of it — he’s still pissed about it. …
“I think how well they’re going to be able to bury the hatchet on Mac’s perceived and presumed disloyalty in doing that [is going to be interesting to watch],” Curran said. “And does Bill O’Brien rectify that or is Bill still itching to teach the kid a lesson?”
In case you can't watch the clip, Curran was asked who "outside of the building" Mac reached out to, and answered no one is saying, but speculated it might be Steve Sarkisian at Texas, who was Jones' QB coach in 2020, or maybe people who are still at Alabama. Which is the logical assumption. I mean, we can probably rule out him bringing his problems to Josh Allen in the postgame handshake.
And if he was going around spilling personal organizational dirt around the football world, it would understandably cheese off Belichick, who is not only the ultimate believer in keeping things in-house, he built the house he wants them kept in. Especially from someone who has only been there for a year. Sonny did that, and The Don warned him never to tell anyone outside the family what he was thinking ever again:
And it ended up getting them both shot to pieces:
Anyway, this would go a long way toward explaining Belichick's approach to the offseason:
Bad as all this might sound, Curran added that there's collateral damage as well:
“Brian Hoyer was not sold on what was going on last year, and I think he let that be known — that Mac was up against it on a weekly basis,” Curran said. “And I think that’s a large portion of why Hoyer’s not here. The Patriots would tell you otherwise, but they’re paying him $1.4 million to not be here and not be part of the system. Even through training camp, release him in August – you could use him for this offseason. Nope. Thanks. We’re all set with you. It’s interesting."
The Hoyer thing is especially interesting. Because it's tangible proof Belichick is ripped about more than just his second year quarterback raising his voice in anger at his friend and assistant coach. Hoyer wasn't directing sailor talk toward Matt Patricia. But the notion of him leading an insurrection or whatever from the inside would explain why the team is eating his contract rather than bring him to camp, at the very least. If he doesn't make the roster, he doesn't make the roster. No harm done. But just releasing him when they did only makes sense if they think he's a negative influence. And I don't think there's a man, woman or child among us who didn't think he'd be this team's QB coach sooner or later.
Then again, if you want to look at this in the most optimistic way, in the light most favorable to the organization as a whole - and I most certainly do - then maybe this all comes down to Bill O'Brien "rectifying" everything. I'll repeat what I said when they first hired him: That it's a win for Mac Jones. If there was a power struggle between him and Patricia, O'Brien's presence signals total victory. And Hoyer getting handed a box and told to clean out his desk would indicate that O'Brien wants no part of being one of several voices in his young quarterback's head. Hell, in an absolutely perfect scenario, O'Brien would be the guy Jones reached out to. And while Belichick would still be ripped that his player is talking to some outsider, he's pragmatic enough to understand his need to hear from someone he knows and trusts, and who has experience in this system. So he brought that very guy in. Problem solved.
I was hoping the end of the season and the coaching moves that were made in the immediate aftermath would be the end to all the drama. But it sure sounds like we've got a ways to go to get to the hugging, the forgiving, and the make up sex. Let's make it as soon as possible.