Patriots

Former Pats exec: Jones has "right stuff" to be very good player

Patriots

Scott Pioli spent nine seasons with the New England Patriots earlier this century as an executive, winning three Super Bowls in his role.

After spending some time with newly-anointed starting quarterback Mac Jones last season at Alabama, Pioli believes that Jones has the perfect combination of intelligence and the ability to make very good decisions -- a pairing which could set him up for success at the next level.

"In the NFL, the big difference is you have to be able to make good decisions under duress when you know you're going to get hit in the mouth," Pioli said on NFL Network Tuesday, warning that expectations still need to be managed for the rookie. "Mac Jones can do that."

Pioli, a five-time executive of the year who now works as an analyst for both NFL Media and CBS, said that one of the things which sets Jones apart is his work ethic entering the league.

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"A lot of players we talk about, when they're coming into the NFL, we're all looking for good work ethic and then you'll generally teach them what their work habits are going to be," Pioli said. "Mac Jones' preparation habits, his ability to not only work hard, but work the right way on the right thing, is really so much more mature beyond his years."