What did Nick Saban, Bill Belichick discuss about Mac Jones ahead of NFL Draft?


Nick Saban and Bill Belichick are obviously very close, as Saban is perhaps Belichick's closest friend in the business.

So, what were their conversations like regarding Mac Jones before the NFL Draft when the Patriots selected him No. 15 overall?

Appearing on ESPN Radio's Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show Thursday, the Alabama coach revealed what those conversations were like.

“Three days up until the draft, I get lots of phone calls. And not just because of Mac, but because of the six players that we had — the eight players we got picked in the first couple rounds," Saban said, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "And amazingly enough, not very many of those questions are about what kind of a player a guy is. Most of the questions are about ‘What kind of leader is he? What kind of character does he have? How is he going to impact the team? Is he going to represent the organization well?' It’s amazing that I think a lot of players sometimes don’t understand the importance of that side of creating value for yourself, by being the right kind of person, having the right kind of competitive character.

“I think my conversations with Bill were more about that kind of stuff than it really was about ‘Can this guy throw the ball 50 yards down the field?' I think everybody figures that out pretty much on their own.”

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Saban also said Jones not starting right away at Alabama helped him become the player he is today.

“I think the biggest thing for Mac, as a young player, was he wasn’t heavily recruited. So, I don’t think he had the same expectations that a lot of players come with and think they should be a starter as a freshman or whatever," he said. "I think Mac had the right sort of disposition about where he was as a player. He knew he had to get bigger. He knew he had to get stronger. He was focused on ‘What do I have to do to develop?’ I think that was the key to him becoming a really good player. I think he learned a lot from being around the other players, but I think he also learned to control his emotions, stay in the right place, make good choices and decisions, not get too affected by a bad play. Which are all things that really helped him become a really, really consistent player.

“He’s accurate with the ball. He’s very smart. He’s going to read and get the ball in the right place. As a quarterback, that’s what you do — you distribute the ball. To get the confidence in your teammates that you’re going to do that on a consistent basis in the right way. I think is something that really can be helpful to any quarterback, because the people around you at that position need to be playing well if you’re going to play well.”

Jones will be under center for the Patriots Sept. 12 when they host Miami. He will be going up against his former teammates -- Tua Tagovailoa.

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