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Damien Harris: Mac Jones’ failure was not his fault, Patriots’ coaching was “a debacle”

Damien Harris was a running back on the Patriots during Mac Jones’ first two seasons as New England’s quarterback, and Harris says that Jones’ downfall was not his fault.

Instead, Harris blames the Patriots’ coaching staff, saying that Josh McDaniels did a great job as offensive coordinator during Jones’ rookie year, and Bill Belichick failed Jones by turning the offense over to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge after McDaniels left. Harris said on The Athletic Football Show that Belichick’s revamping of the offensive coaching staff was “a debacle.”

“What happened to Mac Jones in New England was not because of Mac Jones,” Harris said, via “What happened in New England to Mac Jones was because of the fact you took away an offensive coordinator who coached him to be a Pro Bowler and almost coached us to winning our division with a rookie quarterback in his first year. And then you take — whenever Josh McDaniels left — Matt Patricia, who has coached defenses his entire life, and Joe Judge, who has been a special teams coach, coached receivers at some point. And then you just throw them in there and be like, ‘Hey, coach this kid up. He’s a first round pick, but as long as you teach him what I say, everything will be fine,’ and shit wasn’t fine.”

Harris says he understands why Belichick got set in his ways, given how much success his ways had in New England, but he said ultimately Belichick failed Jones.

“He needs full-on control. That’s just the kind of guy Bill Belichick is,” said Harris. “But at the same time, can you blame him? Because in the 20 years where he had full control, he had a lot of success. So you can’t blame him.”

But if Jones does blame Belichick, it would be easy to understand why.