The Patriots and Packers staged an unlikely classic at Lambeau Field on Sunday, with third-string New England quarterback Bailey Zappe holding his own against future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.
One of the key plays of the first half that set the stage for the overtime thriller was delivered by another relatively unheralded Patriots rookie, cornerback Jack Jones.
The fourth-round draft pick out of Arizona State intercepted Rodgers for a 40-yard pick-six with under a minute left on the clock in the second quarter, giving the Patriots a 10-7 lead at halftime.
But, despite his modest billing as a mid-round selection, Jones sounded like a veteran star while discussing the play after the game.
“Personally,” Jones said, “I feel it’s disrespectful to throw an out route on me.”
The brash take seemingly didn't sit well with veteran NBC Sports reporter Peter King, who questioned Jones' "big-headedness" in his weekly Monday morning recap column, Football Morning In America:
Hey kid: They threw out routes on Deion Sanders! (Not many, but some.) How did the 121st pick in the draft get so big-headed to think one of the best quarterbacks ever was insulting him by throwing the kind of route that’s thrown 162 times a week in the NFL? Man, that was weird.
While King probably has a point about Jones' seemingly immodest reaction to being thrown at as "disrespectful," it could very well be chalked up to a young player choosing the wrong words in the heat of the moment and perhaps having his competitive juices still flowing shortly after a hard-fought game.
Maybe Jones has a chip on his shoulder and feels he has something to prove at the professional level. If so, his heady play against Rodgers surely helped put his name on the radar of fans, journalists, and opposing teams.
Whether his remarks were "weird," though, in a league where the egos are big (and arguably necessary) and trash talk is commonplace, feels like a bit of a reach.