We've talked plenty about Tom Brady's mindset as he returns to Foxboro, but what about the New England Patriots' rookie quarterback?
In just his fourth NFL game, Mac Jones will be thrust into the biggest stage of his entire football career. The Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off in primetime in arguably the most anticipated regular-season game ever. How will the first-round draft pick handle the spotlight?
Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed that question on a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"The kid's been here for 15 minutes, he's taking a thrashing every week," Curran said. "The entire country's gonna come in to watch Tom Brady and Tom Brady's successor. And Tom Brady's successor, though he's the best player on the Patriots offense perhaps the past three weeks, he's getting his ass handed to him. This is the biggest game that a one-year college starter Mac Jones has ever been in, championship game included. This is not easy for him."
The pressure will be on the rookie, but Perry argues every game is a mental battle for him this early in his career.
"Of course there's going to be a lot of attention on this game, there will be a lot of excitement in the building, it's a Sunday Night Football game. We know what it is," Perry said. "But he's almost so new to the thing -- like, let me put it to you this way, the old football cliché is 'every week is the biggest game of your life,' and it's an overused and meaningless thing to say at this point. But for somebody who's only played three games, isn't it kind of true? Aren't they all these incredibly overwhelming experiences?"
Also discussed in this episode: What’s Tom Brady’s mindset heading into his return to Gillette? Charlie Weis recalls Brady replacing Drew Bledsoe. Weis on the confidence he saw in a young Brady. And Weis’ impressions of Mac Jones so far.