It’s been a frustrating sophomore season for New England Patriots quarterback Mike Jones.
Jones struggled to adjust to the Patriots’ “streamlined” offense before suffering the high ankle sprain that kept him sidelined for the past three weeks. Jones threw five interceptions in three games as Matt Patricia and Joe Judge replaced Josh McDaniels as the de facto offensive coordinator.
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Obviously, these offensive changes combined with Jones’ injury have created some tension behind the scenes in New England. MMQB’s Albert Breer said the relationship between Jones and the team had deteriorated at times recently.
Blair on Sunday Patriots pregame live“I think it goes back to the Josh McDaniels change. ‘Why are we asking Joe Judge and Matt Patricia to come with Bill O’Brien on the sidelines, we might ask He challenges? Why have a defensive player and a special team player? Why are we changing the offense? Why are we streamlining after my success? …
“I think the injury is bleeding now, and I think it gives the coach an opportunity to send a message to Mike. I don’t think Mike is in danger of losing his job, but I don’t think they said the same to Mac. I don’t think they said that to Mac. Say, “Look, you’re fine, don’t worry about the way Bailey Zappe plays. “
Zappe hasn’t improved his scoring since replacing Jones, but the rookie has done his part to give his team a chance to win. He was forced into overtime in his first NFL game. The Green Bay Packers, then helped the Patriots beat the Detroit Lions 29-0, the first start of his career. His only turnover in two games was an interception that was bounced off wide receiver Nelson Aglore.
Jones is expected to resume his role as the starting quarterback when healthy, but head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t commit to that at a recent news conference.
“We’ll see where he is,” Belichick said. “I have no idea.”
Breer believes Belichick and the Patriots are using the opportunity to send a message to their 2021 first-round pick.
“It’s their opportunity to send a message to the Mac, and you have to do better,” Breer added. “Like, if you believe in the offense, look at what the offense did with the fourth-round pick in Western Kentucky. We saw him do some freelance at the beginning of the year, he was shooting in the frontcourt, and we saw turnover issues. I Think part or the message here is, look at what Bailey Zappe is doing. He’s doing what we tell him to see how the offense works for him.”
Zappe took over for Jones again in Week 6 on Sunday. Cleveland Browns. It’s worth noting that the Patriots QB situation led to the team’s Monday night football game against the Chicago Bears.
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