Responding to Mac Jones' harsh criticism of former Patriots manager

Responding to Mac Jones’ harsh criticism of former Patriots manager

Mac Jones has received plenty of praise for his strong rookie season, but the New England Patriots quarterback hasn’t been immune to criticism so far in Year 2.

Jones threw five interceptions and lost a fumble in the first three games of the season. The Patriots are 1-2 to start the campaign, largely due to costly turnovers.

Kassel: What to expect from the Patriots offense in the absence of Mac Jones

Former Pats executive Michael Lombardi was quick to criticize Jones during a recent episode of his “GM Shuffle” podcast. Lombardi ripped Jones for hurting the team by not protecting the ball and called the 2022 Patriots “the most anti-Belichick team he’s ever seen.” He even went so far as to say that Jones might be out of the league if he keeps playing this way.

Hard, to say the least. But is the criticism justified?

Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry and Matt Cassel shared their reactions to Lombardi’s comments on a new episode of the Patriots Talk podcast.

Patriots Talk: Can Brian Hoyer lift the Patriots without Mac Jones? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

“I just think the idea that he’ll be out of the league soon if he keeps playing the way he’s been playing is a bit too strong. It’s a bit hot for me,” Perry said. “I’m not sure it’s really fair for Mac Jones to look at his situation and say it’s not training, it’s players who just don’t care about football and who play “out of control”. …

“I think we know who Mac Jones is. I think we know he’s smart, I think we know he’s accurate. For me, he hasn’t dropped in those categories since Year 1 and year 2. There’s a lot going on around him that changed the results a bit, but to say he could soon be out of the league based on three weeks in his second year is a bit strong for me .”

Cassel explains that while a few of Jones’ decisions in Week 3 were questionable, some of his turnovers simply weren’t the QB’s fault.

“At the end of the day, these are bold statements,” Cassel said. “And if you turn on the movie, the first interception against Miami – look, that’s a ball that you have a 1-on-1 away game with DeVante Parker, your new toy. You puke it and another good player from this league, Xavien Howard gets the ball out for an interception. It wasn’t a bad call, it really wasn’t a bad shot. It was just a good play by the opposing defense.

“The strip-sack in this game, they had miscommunication on the offensive line. … It’s not so much on Mac Jones as it was the initial communication.”

Jones is currently managing a sprained ankle and his status for Sunday’s game in Green Bay is uncertain. If he is unable to suit up, veteran QB Brian Hoyer will start.

Also covered in the episode: How has Mac Jones’ ankle injury and Mac Jones’ overall start to the season hurt his development? How does the lack of transparency around Mac’s injury negatively impact his ability to do what’s best for his long-term health and career aspirations? How much did the offensive training situation factor into Mac’s decision-making on how quickly he wants to get back on the pitch? And Cassel breaks down what it’s like for the veteran back-up when the starting QB breaks down with an injury.

Check out the latest episode of Podcast Let’s Talk About Patriots on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on youtube.

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