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Mac Jones on Bill O’Brien as OC: It’s been really good, it’s been normal

Chris Simms explains to Mike Florio how Mac Jones’ “incredible” anticipation and accuracy “through the roof” earn him the No. 20 slot in his Top 40 QB Countdown.

There were instances during the 2022 season where quarterback Mac Jones expressed outward frustration with the Patriots offense.

That should change in 2023 with Bill O’Brien back with New England as the club’s offensive coordinator.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, one word Jones used to describe how things have been with O’Brien so far was “normal.” He may not have meant that as a backhanded reference to last season, but New England’s offensive construction was anything but that in 2022.

“It’s been really good. It’s been normal,” Jones said in his press conference. “I think everything he’s done so far has been really good. I think the communication is the most important part, and trust. I think it starts with that when you’re with a new coach and he’s done a great job in controlling the room. I feel like everybody is on the same page.

“Just got to continue to do it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So, we know that and he’s obviously had great experience in the NFL and at Alabama where I was at, so there’s a lot of good stuff that we’ve talked about. Just looking forward to working with him.”

While Jones never played under O’Brien at Alabama, Jones noted are still terms the two can use that make sense given that both spent time with the Crimson Tide.

And though O’Brien is Jones’ third offensive play-caller in three NFL seasons, the young QB said that he’s used to having different coordinators from his experience in college.

“What I took from that is that you learn from each one of them,” Jones said. “You take the really good things and you kind of add that to your repertoire. And I think with ‘OB,’ obviously that needs to happen and we’re going to work toward that. There’s a lot of familiarity, but it’s a new relationship still and we’re just working on that trust. That’s what I care about. I’m very much so a trustworthy person and that’s what we’re trying to build.”

Jones added that O’Brien has been around different quarterbacks and taken something from each one, which should in turn help him.

“I feel like for me, it’s just being a sponge,” Jones said. “Whatever quarterback he’s coached, I can learn from — whether that’s Bryce [Young] or Deshaun [Watson], or at Penn State — he has such great experience in this league and in the football world. It’s like a walking dictionary, you just pick his brain and see the game how he sees it and how I see it. And then come together and mesh and create a really good offense.”

Jones finished 2022 with a 65.2 percent completion rate, 2,997 yards passing, 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 14 games. With O’Brien at the helm, Jones should be poised for a better third season — which will be critical for his career.