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Today in Mac Jones Drama: Report Says He 'Lost Support in the Building, But He's Working With Bill O'Brien to 'Rebuild the Playbook'

Eric Canha. Shutterstock Images.

Remember how the Paul Rudd character in 40 Year Old Virgin was a good guy except for driving his work buddies nuts over the way he was so distraught over breaking up with his girlfriend (who turned out to be Mindy Kaling), that he couldn’t shut up about it? I’d be tempted to say that with this Bill Belichick-Mac Jones drama, I’m at the same point the SmartTech guys were Rudd. 

Except I am not. I was probably there when the now discredited Pro Football Talk report came out claiming Belichick tried shopping his future Franchise quarterback around like a used piece of patio furniture on Facebook Marketplace.  I am a million light years beyond that point now. 

But I can’t escape it’s gravitational pull. True or not, this story is literally getting more attention in Boston sports media than the Bruins setting records or the Celtics sitting in the 2-seed. Probably combined. If not, it’s certainly close.

Which brings us to the latest in this ongoing melodrama. And that’s this report from Albert Breer. Oh a lot of it is pure rehash. Nothing that isn’t known by everybody at this point. Last season’s dysfunction. Jones’ frustrations with his coaching and on field histrionics. Belichick’s displeasure with both. The (false) trade rumor. Bailey Zappe looking good (for a little while). And which comes up in every discussion about the patriots, this off-season, regardless of what the topic is supposed to be. It’s like your parents having a squabble, that, even though it’s about whether dad remembered to mail the electric bill, they have to bring up the time she backed into a shopping cart and the time he got drunk at a wedding. Like we haven’t all heard those parts before. But whatever. 

Here’s the blogworthy parts:

SI - Jones rankled Belichick and last year’s offensive staff with the way he handled adversity. …

[T]here is plenty of blame to go around. Regardless of how you’d split that blame up, Jones lost support in the building with the way he managed the challenges of the season. ...

Jones’s superpower as a player is his mind, and how fast he sees the game. ... So if Jones is not able to make an offense work for him—either because the offense isn’t good enough or he’s not buying into it—it’s going to look messy. And it did last year.


Now, the good news, as we mentioned last week, is that Jones has been at the facility to lift, throw and relationship-build with his new offensive coaches (Zappe has been, too), as those coaches basically rebuild the playbook. Also, O’Brien’s coming from Alabama, a place where Jones showed the qualities over and over that turned a physically limited QB into a first-rounder, which gives the coordinator powerful institutional knowledge to work with.

You can focus on that first excerpt, or the second. I know what the Mac detractors among the anti-Patriots jihadists are going to pay attention to. And that’s obviously the word “lost”, followed immediately by “support.” And how that sets us up for a future of Zappe under center.

But that is Clown World thinking. The money shot of this is the part about Jones in the building, working out, working on his throwing, working with his coaches, new and old. The operative word being “working.” Putting in the time in effort to not only keep the QB1 job, but more importantly, to get everyone on the same page. To turn the dysfunction of 2022 into the function of 2023. That’s the takeaway here. Belichick has refused to anoint him the starter. With this franchise, nothing is given. It’s earned. Every season. Every training camp. Every game. Every practice. 

Which is how it should be. It’s how it was for Jones at Alabama. Or has everyone forgotten he beat out this draft’s presumptive No.1 pick Bryce Young to lead Bama to an undefeated National Title season?

It’s ironic the controversy surrounding this off-season ignores the fact that Jones is in the building doing what’s expected of them. When we went through about three seasons of controversy around the fact, the quarterback wasn’t showing up to non-mandatory work outs. 

But that’s secondary. What matters is Belichick didn’t hire O’Brien away from his football twin Nick Saban just to place Mac in the Time Out chair for disrespecting his football nephew Matt Patricia. He’s making the guy earn it because he knows that’s what’s best for the player, and more importantly, the franchise. 

Now this bullshit can end any time, so we can focus on what really matters. I’m so done with this.