Jaguars: With Jacksonville, Jones has Embraced his New Start

By Jeff Moeller, Florida Sports Wire

JACKSONVILLE – Mac Jones is having fun.

The former Patriots’ 2021 first-round pick from Alabama returned to his Jacksonville home in March when he was dealt for a sixth-round draft pick.

Jones is part of the Jags’ retooling plan on both sides of the ball to help them avoid another unanticipated early exit that occurred last year. He’ll certainly play a different role than he played in New England, where many viewed him as the next Tom Brady.

Instead, Jones became the pinata of Patriots’ fans, poking at his trials and tribulations after some early success. Jones never regained his touch, as he threw 24 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in his final two seasons.

With Jacksonville, Jones has embraced his new start. He will compete with veteran backup C.J. Bethard for the spot behind Trevor Lawrence. The Jags likely will only keep one of them.

Still, Jones is keeping it in the present and enjoying some home cooking.

He looked confident and sharp during drills in the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday, hitting receivers downfield with a tight spiral. Jones understands his new role, alleviating the pressures from the past three years as a team’s savior.

“A lot of great learning experiences,” Jones said. “I learned from a great head coach, obviously one of the greatest of all time. Been fortunate to kind of work with some great head coaches and learned a lot, played a lot of games, started a lot of games. Obviously things went the way they did, and my goal is to kind of get the train back on the tracks.

“I think I can do that here, and the coaches here have talked to me about that and just how I can help the room and how I can learn from Trevor and everybody here.”

Offensive coordinator Press Taylor has recognized Jones’ comfort level.

“Mac’s done a great job just getting in here and learning the offense,” said Taylor. “ He’s a sponge. He loves learning football, talking football. He’s constantly in the building, he’s constantly asking questions, he’s constantly talking. He’s done a great job just learning. You see his experience. He’s played a lot of football. All the concepts we run he’s run at some point in time.”

Whatever the final outcome for him, Jones has a new lease on life.

“It’s about confidence,” said Jones. “It’s about putting in the work and doing everything right that you can. I feel like I did that and I’m going to continue to do that.

“The results may have been there some days and may have not been there others. But I think the important part for me is sticking to that process like I’ve always done, just trying to get back to that but at the same time just knowing my role, knowing where I’m at and just understanding that this is a great spot for me in my hometown.”
And he’s having fun.


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