Quarterback Mac Jones started 14 games for the New England Patriots in 2022. He'd like to put that season of football behind him. He'd also like to add the first two weeks of this season as topics not to bring up anymore.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Jones made it clear he did not care to look back. No more talking of last season. No more talking Weeks 1 and 2. “Trying to focus on what I can do each play,” is his sole focus, per the Boston Herald's Doug Kyed.
Jones is off to a pretty strong start in 2023. He currently ranks sixth in the NFL in passing yards and only three QBs have thrown for more touchdowns than his four.
But the Patriots are also 0-2. And more painfully, in both losses, Jones and the offense had the ball in the final minute of the 4th quarter, with a chance to either tie the game or take the lead. Against both the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 and the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, the Pats turned the ball over on downs. (After reviews of each final 4th down play, oddly enough.)
Improvement has been the expectation for New England's offense all summer. That's due to coach Bill Belichick ending the strange Matt Patricia-Joe Judge co-offensive coordinators experiment. Instead, he brought in the trusted and experienced Bill O'Brien to run the offense.
O'Brien had success in his first go-round on the offensive staff with New England from 2007-2011. As play-caller, he helped produce some of QB Tom Brady's best seasons. O'Brien had winning records as the head coach of Penn State football and the Houston Texans. He served as Alabama's offensive coordinator for two seasons before returning to the Patriots.
Already Jones looks sharper than he did last season, so clearly some progress is being made with O'Brien running the show. But the Patriots Way is measured in Super Bowl titles, and an 0-2 start doesn't bode well for the team's playoff chances.
No wonder Mac Jones wants to wipe the slate clean and start over.