Devin McCourty has high expectations for Mac Jones in Year 3


Devin McCourty believes the best is yet to come for Mac Jones.

The former New England Patriots safety, who announced his retirement on Friday, stated earlier in the offseason that Jones is "the future" in Foxboro. In response to critics of the Patriots quarterback, McCourty praised Jones' leadership while emphasizing how new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will help him in Year 3.

He reiterated his thoughts on Jones during his Monday appearance on FanDuel's "Up & Adams." Asked by host Kay Adams whether he still sees Jones as the future of the Patriots franchise, McCourty had an optimistic response.

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“Yeah," McCourty answered. "Like, for me, I don’t understand. I’ll say this. All these young quarterbacks come in and they get crushed right away. Then we watch Jalen Hurts, we give him time to develop, and now everybody’s like, ‘Did you see the Super Bowl he had? Man, he might’ve been better than (Patrick) Mahomes.’ And it’s like, yeah he got drafted for a reason. We see Tua (Tagovailoa) down in Miami. You finally get some stability around him. Get him with Mike McDaniel, a guy who’s run offense, been in San Francisco. ‘Oh man, he’s actually a good player.’


"And I look at Mac who came in as a rookie under Josh McDaniels. Showed so much promise, ended up in the Pro Bowl as an alternate. Played really well for us. Gave us a chance to go compete in the playoffs. … Two years removed from the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, we were back in the playoffs. Like, you never hear of that.

"Then last year, it’s kinda like, a new, testing things out with Matty P (Matt Patricia) and Joe Judge kinda running the offense — which it didn’t work. And, you know, the bad thing for Mac is a lot of that goes right to him, like, ‘He wasn’t good. His fault, his fault.’ And I just don’t see it that way. I think he’s a young guy who now gets a chance to be with Billy O (Bill O'Brien), a proven offense mind in this league. … I think he’s just gonna skyrocket.”

Jones' third season will be crucial for both his NFL career and the Patriots' future. New England will have to decide whether to pick up the 2021 first-round draft pick's fifth-year option by May 2024. That will be a difficult decision even if Jones bounces back from his rocky 2022 campaign.

With Bill O'Brien taking control of the offense, Jones should look more like he did during his encouraging rookie season. The next step is finding a way to surround Jones with talent this offseason via trades, free agency, and the 2023 NFL Draft.