Perry: Mac Jones reiterates faith in Patricia, Judge as Week 1 nears


LAS VEGAS -- There was plenty to dissect on the field during Friday's preseason finale between the Patriots and Raiders. But it was worth paying attention to the visitor's sideline, too. Particularly between offensive series.

When Mac Jones finished drives at Allegiant Stadium, he typically headed to his seat on the bench to sit near quarterbacks coach Joe Judge and veteran backup Brian Hoyer.

Matt Patricia, who called plays Friday, did not appear to interact much with Jones during down time between series. Balancing the responsibilities of being offensive line coach as well as play-caller, Patricia spent his moments between series coaching up Jones' blockers.

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There was a moment before Jones' second drive -- after finishing his first drive with a sack that led to a three-and-out -- when he made his way over to Patricia while he was on a knee and coaching linemen. Jones said something briefly to the group, it appeared, then went to warm up.

Otherwise, Jones was being coached by Judge.

"I think Joe's done a good job," Jones said. "He has a unique perspective, like I always talk about. He's coached a lot of football. To be able to talk to him -- we're kind of finding that groove of what type of person I am. I'm competitive. Sometimes, you know, we just need a little break and then talk. From there, he's very good at explaining calmly, 'All right, hey, what did you see?'

"The thing I respect about him a lot is he understands that I'm the guy with the ball. A lot of people can see different things. He knows that I saw what I saw, and I did what I did for a certain reason. I respect that he sees that. A lot of coaches, that's one big thing they can't always see. 'I really felt this on this play.' He sees that and realizes it, and it's really good.

"So we just gotta keep building. He's done a great job. We're just trying to work on my fundamentals and practice, and he's done good just explaining to me, step up in the pocket, use my legs and all that. He's done a good job, and we're gonna grow and figure it out and continue to grow and have those good conversations."

Jones explained that both Patricia and Judge are burning the midnight oil (and then some) to help the offense improve, which he appreciates.

"Great coach," Jones said when asked about Patricia. "We're working through everything, how to see it the same way. He has a unique perspective. I think that's one thing. [Patricia and Judge] are just grinders. They've been grinding since forever it seems like. They're up there at 2 (o'clock) in the morning trying to get everything done and figure everything out and just grinding through it, and I respect that.

"We're going to give our best as players to be better and just execute simple plays or the hard plays really well, and put them in a good position. They've done a good job staying positive, and coaching us, and understanding the group that we have. We have a good group of coaches. We're going to come together and just knock this thing out so... all good."

Jones has been resolute when asked about the travails of the Patriots offense, consistently intimating that improvement will come in time. But he understands the regular season is just around the corner, acknowledging "a lot" of problem solving has to occur between now and his team's Week 1 trip to Miami.

"It's not about rah-rah speeches and things like that," Jones said. "It's about pure execution. We're gonna work on it, we're gonna grind through it. I think it’s kinda good to be where we are. Learn from everything and have good conversations. That's the important part. Don’t just sit there and say that it was bad. It is what it is.

"'All right, what happened on this specific play? What could I have done better? What could we have done better as a group? What could have been explained better?' It’s us all attacking each problem and finding a solution. A lot of that needs to be done in these next couple weeks. We’re going to do it. We’re going to put our best foot forward and make it happen."

That's the message Jones has delivered all summer. He's shown obvious growth as a leader, understanding his role as emotional beacon at this early stage in his career, projecting confidence. But on the field, his offense -- players, coaches, all involved -- will need to exhibit similarly tangible progress in order for the Patriots to get off on the right foot to start their regular season.

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