Patriots

How can Mac Jones improve his arm strength? Brady's throwing coach has a plan

Patriots

What is Mac Jones' ceiling as an NFL quarterback? And more importantly, can that ceiling be raised?

The New England Patriots quarterback did a lot of things right in his rookie season thanks to his accuracy, strong decision-making skills and poise under pressure. Jones doesn't have elite arm strength, though, and his deep ball numbers in 2021 reflect that limitation: He completed just six passes of 40 yards or more, tied for 19th in the NFL.

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But can Jones' arm strength be improved? Our Tom E. Curran sought insight from an authority on the subject: former Boston Red Sox pitcher Tom House, who is Tom Brady's longtime throwing coach and has worked with several NFL quarterbacks to improve their mechanics.

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"If he wanted to, he could improve his arm speed and his arm distance. We have the capacity to do it," House told Curran on a new episode of the Patriots Talk podcast.

"We've done it in baseball. From what I know about dealing with quarterbacks and pitchers, when they show up, very few of them have maxed out their genetic capacity to throw."

House worked with former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in 2017 after Luck underwent shoulder surgery, helping the QB regain his arm strength before going on to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2018.

 

We can repattern and retrain his delivery to handle consistent 60-yard throws if necessary.

Tom House on Mac Jones

"He couldn't roll a football or a ball 20 yards without pain in his arm," House said of Luck. "So, we reevaluated his mechanics and reevaluated his functional strength. ... All we did was train with round balls ... and we knew three weeks before camp was supposed to start that he could throw a 1-pound ball about 55 mph. So, I knew right away that throwing a football 55 mph was possible."

House is confident Jones could improve both his throwing velocity and throwing endurance under a similar program.

"I don't know the farthest that Mac has ever thrown a football, but I guarantee you we can train him to do it," House added. "We can repattern and retrain his delivery to handle consistent 60-yard throws if necessary.

"A 60-yard pass isn't completed very often in the NFL. But if Mac was to train to do it, I could look Coach Belichick in the face and say, 'If you need him to throw five 60-yarders this game, he can do it for you.' But Mac would need to go through a retraining."

To hear more from House on Jones' development and what he thinks of the rookie's arm right now, subscribe to the Patriots Talk podcast or watch it on YouTube below.