Bill Belichick hasn’t publicly endorsed Mac Jones as the Patriots’ starting quarterback going forward. But one franchise stalwart doesn’t think that’s a big deal.
On WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” Thursday, Matt Light, who played for New England from 2001-11 and won three Super Bowls, said he thinks Belichick is just trying to motivate the young passer.
Matt Light on belichick and Mac Jones
“Not [weird] from Bill,” he said. “I think there are times that he realizes that certain guys, given who they are, that they need certain things. Then there are other guys that I think he knows he can push in ways that seem foreign to us. We know the mental gymnastics that he’ll put guys through. The psychological.”
Belichick pumped up Jones last offseason, extolling his progress and leadership abilities. Those words stand in stark contrast to his comments about Jones in his season-ending presser back in January.
“Mac has the ability to play quarterback in this league,” said Belichick when asked about whether Jones was the team’s QB long-term.
Light believes Belichick is trying to push Jones mentally.
“He’s just testing you. “He’s going to the boundary and saying, ‘Can I get this guy to’ — I don’t know. I don’t know why he does what he does, but he’s a genius at it.”
While that may be true, Belichick’s approach with Jones last season wasn’t brilliant. He put his critical sophomore season in the hands of offensive novices Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, and predictably, the results were subpar.
Still, Jones is situated to be the Patriots’ starter next season. He’s a cheap option at an increasingly exorbitantly priced position, considering his base salary is just a little north of $2 million.
“With Mac, I think the message is: ‘Hey man, this is a young quarterback. You want me to commit to this guy for long term in perpetuity basically and then open myself up to the five million questions that come out of that one?,’” said Light. ‘No. I’m going to state the obvious and say this guy is a player in our system and leave it at that.’”
It is left at that. Or is it?