Tom E. Curran

Curran: Fascinating comparison between Belichick in '95, Mac now


Mac Jones faced an incredible amount of adversity last season.

Whether it was a bad coaching setup, an ankle injury that forced him to miss multiple games, or a lack of high-level talent around him on offense, the 2022 campaign wasn't an easy one for the New England Patriots quarterback.

One person who understands extreme adversity is Bill Belichick. Why is that relevant to the Patriots' current dynamic? Tom E. Curran explained in an excellent segment during the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

Patriots Talk: Can the Patriots stop 2022 from affecting 2023? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"There's a weird parallel here," Curran said. "If you think of a comparable situation where someone has had the rug pulled out from under them and then been blamed for it, it's Bill Belichick.

"Think of Cleveland in 1995. At that point, Bill Belichick was a genius of a defensive coordinator with the Giants. He gets the job in Cleveland. People don't really like him that much, but by 1994 he's got a playoff team, a team winning playoff games, he's building in the right direction. Everything's going great and what happens? Unprecedented adversity.

"Owner announces that they're moving. Rug pulled out from Bill, not his fault. He was set up to fail. He paid the price. Unprecedented adversity in 1995 that Bill still laments. 'Owner was nowhere to be found,' he says. 'I felt bad for the players. I felt bad for the team. I felt bad for my fellow coaches. There was nothing we could do.' And he still laments that. We have documentaries about Cleveland '95 and how bad that was."

The case for being optimistic about Mac Jones and the 2023 Patriots

Jones, as Curran explains next, went through similar levels of adversity in 2022. 

"Well, equate that to Mac Jones -- Alabama wins the national championship, 15th overall pick, beats a former MVP Cam Newton and has a playoff season, almost the offensive rookie of the year," Curran said. "Everything's going great. And then what happens? Unprecedented adversity.

"Goes from having everything heading in the right direction to instead now having a defensive coordinator and a former special teams coach who played high school quarterback, and a defensive genius who never has play-called in his life, Bill Belichick, now running the offense. And not just an offense, a new offense. Unprecedented.

"So it's funny how Bill in 1995 had this adversity and still years later can recall and remember how unjust that was to him and the people around him. Yet in 2022, (Belichick) gives his quarterback a situation that's unprecedented in levels of adversity and holds it against him when (Jones) rails against it, when (Jones) sees his career hitting the skids because of decisions made that were beyond his control, which is exactly what happened to Bill in Cleveland. To me, Bill ain't gonna get over it with Mac Jones and the ironic thing is they both dealt with the same thing."

For more on the Belichick-Jones dynamic, subscribe to the Patriots Talk Podcast or watch on YouTube below.

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