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Mac Jones "not really" surprised to be starting Week 1

/ by Jake Levin
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Upon learning he'd been named the Week 1 starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, Mac Jones said that he told coach Bill Belichick it was a great pleasure.

But was Jones surprised to hear he'd become the first rookie to start a season opener for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993?

"Not really," he told WEEI's Merloni & Fauria program Tuesday afternoon, though adding that the title of starter "doesn't mean much."

"The label is the label, but you've gotta go out there and produce," Jones said. "That's what it comes down to."

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In his first appearance on the show the release of incumbent starter Cam Newton, Jones said that the quarterback whom he beat out for the starting job had been a really good mentor for him.

"Obviously, we'll stay in touch," Jones said of Newton, who remains a free agent. "I never felt like we were butting heads. Cam is a great guy and a great player. Hopefully, he lands somewhere."

In a wide-ranging interview, Jones said that the first people he called after his conversation with Belichick were his parents. Jones, who turned 23 on Sunday, also said he's been getting some extra help at home when it comes to memorizing New England's expansive playbook.

 

The quarterback who Jones replaced at Alabama, Tua Tagovailoa, will be his opponent come Sunday with the Miami Dolphins bound for Gillette Stadium.

On facing his former teammate -- Jones and Tagovailoa were both members of the Crimson Tide in 2018 and 2019 -- Jones said that it will be cool to go up against not only him, but Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts some day, another Alabama alum.

"Tua's an awesome guy," Jones said. "Really a good, talented football player. Learning from him and Jalen was great. Now that we're all in the NFL, it'll be cool to go up against each other."

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