Belichick reveals how Mac Jones already is earning respect


It sure sounds like Mac Jones' first month with the New England Patriots is going well.

The Patriots selected the former Alabama quarterback with the No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He went through rookie camp last month and right now he's participating in his first OTAs on the practice fields at Gillette Stadium.

He's already earning the respect of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Jones' hard work learning the Patriots' system is a big part of that, as Belichick explained during his Zoom call with reporters Friday morning.

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"I think Mac has a pretty good understanding of the things that we do," Belichick said. "He has to go out there and do them and get comfortable with them, so it's a process and we've had a number of other players at that quarterback position come in and go through that.

"Sometimes it starts a little slower and then picks up, sometimes it starts a little higher and slows down. We'll just have to see how it goes but he's working hard. He puts in a lot of time and certainly, giving his very best effort to do everything we've asked him to do and do it the way that we've asked him to do it, which is a great place to start. He's earned a lot of respect for that but he's got a long way to go and we'll see how it goes."

Jones will need to beat veteran Cam Newton to win the quarterback competition and be the starter Week 1 of the 2021 regular season, and having a good understanding of the offense at this stage of the offseason certainly is an encouraging sign for the rookie.

One of the areas Jones received plenty of praise in before the draft was his high football IQ both on and off the field, as well as his impressive preparation. It seems like that football acumen has translated to the NFL so far.

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