Anyone who has spent much time listening to Mac Jones’ press conferences and weekly WEEI interviews this year knows that the Patriots’ rookie quarterback is pretty darn serious.
About his job.
About seemingly pretty much everything, actually.
So it’s probably not surprising that the rising star who’s led the Patriots on seven-game winning streak to take over the No. 1 seed in the AFC heading into New England’s Week 14 bye is even seemingly taking his week off rather seriously. While there is no questioning the focus he brings to his job, Jones will also have to bring a similar approach to actually getting away from it even for just a little bit.
“Football season is a long season,” Jones said during his Wednesday press conference when asked if it will be hard to pull away during the bye. “One week you just have to focus on getting away but realize what’s in mind, realize the goals we have. And a lot of that is just being where you’re feet are and staying present. Get the body recovered, take the time off but have the big picture view of what we want to do.”
Jones certainly doesn’t sound like a guy planning to get too far away, in fact he’s predictably already looking ahead to the post-bye trip to Indy to take on the Colts.
“Like I said, reviewing the film and things that we can do better,” Jones said of what he’ll welcome most on the weekend off. “And then just getting away a little bit, taking the advice from the older people on our team. But also realizing that we have a big game coming up against Indy and they’re a great team with a similar situation that we’re in. They may not have started super fast like we did, but they’ve been playing really well down the stretch. And they’re well coached and have great players. So we have to be ready with that in mind and have a big-picture view there.”
Asked about the last 18 months or so of a hectic journey through a national title season at Alabama, the NFL Draft and becoming a rookie starting quarterback for Bill Belichick’s Patriots, Jones said the journey has been “awesome.”
“There have been ups and downs on the whole deal. It’s been fast paced. But I think it’s just being consistent is the most important part,” Jones said. “Everyone’s going through it. It’s not just me. We have other rookies and other guys who are older or whatever their situation may be where they know how to grind it out. I’m just trying to do the same thing. Because I enjoy it and it is fun to come in every day. Sometimes you have good days and bad days but you have to keep pushing towards the final goal.”
Jones did say he’ll probably watch some football with family over the weekend, “being a normal person like everybody else.”
But he won’t stray too far from being anything but a normal person, being the star rookie quarterback of Belichick’s Patriots, the NFL’s hottest football team.
“The older guys I think have a great message: don’t let anything in the bye week ruin something in the future. Just go get your rest, enjoy your family and stay safe. I think that’s what we’re going to do and that’s all you can ask for,” Jones said of what is the latest bye for any team in NFL history. “I think it’s just finding out what you can improve on. The last part of the season is the most important part. Nothing that you did before that matters. The bye week is important just as a self-evaluation for what you can do as a player, as an offense, obviously taking coaching and figuring out ways you can improve. That’s all you can ask for. Whether it be a mechanical thing or what we can do schematically and then go out there and do it for the remainder of the season but not change anything too crazy. You can’t reinvent the wheel.
You do what you do and you just try to improve on the things didn’t do as well.”
And a romantic bye-weekend dinner maybe?
“That’s personal,” Jones said with a laugh.
It is personal and even during the bye week, the rookie Jones is seemingly all business.
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