In his final press conference of the 2022 NFL season, New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was noncommittal when asked if he envisioned Mac Jones being his starting QB in 2023.
“I think Mac has the ability to play quarterback in this league,” Belichick said. “We have to all work together to try to find the best way as a football team — which obviously quarterback’s an important position — to be more productive than we were this season. So that’s incumbent on all of us. We’ll all work together on that, and again, look for better results.”
The Patriots have Jones, rookie Bailey Zappe and veteran Brian Hoyer under contract for the 2023 season. According to Overthecap.com, the Patriots are projected to have the fourth-most cap space in free agency. They’re also set to have pick No. 14 in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jones threw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns in his rookie season last year. This season he finished with 2,997 yards to go with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in a season that saw him miss three full games due to a high-ankle sprain.
When asked what he learned about Jones in 2022, Belichick wouldn’t say.
“I think every year, you learn everything. You learn the players, the team, how certain teams handle or react to certain things,” Belichick said. “What things are easy for some teams and what things are hard for some teams. Sometimes that includes players, certainly signal callers, operations and so forth. Again, we’ll look at everything and continue to try to find the best ways to operate. A lot of things were streamlined and became more efficient during the season, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement so we’ll continue to look at those and address them.”
Patriots HC Bill Belichick and QB Mac Jones. Photo courtsey of Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports