How Pats' Mac Jones views perception that he's hard on himself


Mac Jones looked like a professional quarterback in his NFL debut, completing 29 of 39 passes for 281 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

He also looked very business-like: The Patriots rookie had no interest in taking the ball from his first NFL touchdown pass, explaining after his team's 17-16 loss that the milestone "doesn't really matter" and that New England needs to "do better in the red zone and get more touchdowns."

It's encouraging that Jones is more concerned with team success than individual accolades, but there's a fine line between putting the team first and being too hard on yourself. The 23-year-old was asked about walking that line Monday.

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"A lot of people say that (I'm too hard on myself), but it’s just trying to be perfect and being a perfectionist," Jones said on WEEI's "Merloni & Fauria" radio show. "I think something we all want to do here is try and be as perfect as we can, but I think we did a good job (Sunday) of not getting too emotional or anything like that, too."

Offensive lineman Trent Brown has seen Jones' "perfectionist" attitude first-hand at practice.


"If a play doesn’t go exactly right or how we drew it up in the meeting room ... he’ll say, 'Do it over.' And with some authority," Brown said last week. "As a young guy, that’s pretty cool to see."

Jones' command in the huddle and performance during the preseason helped him beat out Cam Newton for the Patriots' starting job, and his Week 1 effort was a sign that he has serious potential in New England. But you won't find Jones focusing on his own stats after Sunday's loss.

Curran: Jones' performance dwarfs importance of Patriots' loss

"Not really," Jones said when asked if he can separate his individual performance Sunday from the team's loss. "For me, it’s just about winning and losing. For all of us it’s about winning and losing. It takes all the people on the field, so there are going to be games when I won’t play as well and hopefully we can pull it off.

"That’s what we need to do — work together as a unit and we will. But, it’s really not an individual sport. It’s kind of hard to sit there and raise one finger or another. There’s things I can clean up, obviously from watching the tape a bunch of times already today."

Jones has a long way to go before he's a successful quarterback in the league. But his mindset might remind some of a certain QB who had a decent amount of success in Foxboro from 2001 to 2019.