Mac Jones doesn't say a whole lot in press conferences. In that regard, the New England Patriots rookie quarterback is very much a veteran.
That's why it was odd that he was more candid than normal in his postgame presser talking about the team's preparation and lack of quality practice in the week leading up to its Week 15 matchup in Indy, which New England lost 27-17.
Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson has an interesting theory on why Jones' tone in the aftermath of Saturday's defeat was so different.
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"I was surprised by that because it was so off-script for Mac Jones," Johnson said on NBC10 Boston's "Sports Sunday". "He's always stuck to the script -- cliché 101. This time he went off script and I was really surprised to hear him say that we were feeling sorry for ourselves. About what? You just came off a bye week. Is it because you played on a Monday night and then you had to play on a Saturday night? Get over it, boys. It's ring-chasing time now. ...
"And him saying they had a bad week of practice and that their energy level was low -- you're a rookie, keep your mouth shut. That's not going to play well in the locker room. My feeling is Bill Belichick probably had him say it. I think Bill Belichick wanted the message to go through Mac Jones, call out his players. It would be atypical of Bill this year to come down really hard on this team. So, to me, that was some orders from Bill because I can't imagine Mac Jones going off script like he did, criticizing the team's energy and their preparation going into this week. When you're a rookie quarterback, you're not supposed to say stuff like that.
Regardless of who wanted the message out there, it's a little concerning that the Patriots played so poorly in the first half against the Colts when they had an extra week to prepare physically and mentally for that important matchup.
They were shut out in the first half for the first time since 2016. Uncharacteristic mistakes, including dumb penalties, a blocked punt and multiple interceptions also plagued New England and put it in a 20-0 hole in the second half.
Adjustments need to be made quickly because if the Patriots lose on Sunday to the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium they will lose their place atop the AFC East standings.