What Mac Jones said about preseason reps, trash-talk, and more on WEEI


“I do think we’re ready.”

New England Patriots offensive coordinator quarterbacks Bill O'Brien stands near quarterback Mac Jones (10) before an NFL preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.
Mac Jones only played three series during preseason action. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Patriots QB Mac Jones appeared on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego” show on Monday evening, touching on a variety of topics such as his preseason reps, looming roster cuts, and more. 

Here are a few highlights from Jones’ extended radio interview:

Preseason reps 

The Patriots’ preseason slate came to a close on Friday in Nashville, with Jones logging only three total series over the three-game schedule. All of his reps came at the start of New England’s road game against the Packers on Aug. 19, with the Patriots’ starting QB completing six of his nine pass attempts for 52 yards.

After getting sacked twice in his final two drives of the night, Jones (along with a number of other Patriots starters) was held out of Friday’s finale against the Titans.

Despite his limited reps during preseason action, Jones believes that he and a majority of New England’s key cogs on the roster are ready to turn the page to the regular season.

“I do think we’re ready,” Jones said. “I think the preseason is a great time to kind get everybody together, try new things, work with different guys, throw to different receivers, use different offensive linemen, so that’s always something I look forward to in the preseason. Felt like we got a lot of good work in that regard on both sides of the ball.”

Next on the schedule for the Patriots is their season opener against the Eagles on Sept. 10 at Gillette Stadium.

The reigning NFC champions are arguably the most talented team on paper, with Jalen Hurts and Philadelphia’s high-flying offense standing as a tough test out of the gate for the Patriots’ defense.

But the most concerning matchup will likely come against Jones and the Patriots offense, considering that the Eagles led the NFL last year with 70.0 sacks — 15.0 more than the second-place Steelers.

Given the state of New England’s patchwork offensive line, it could make for a long day on the gridiron for Jones.

“The Eagles are definitely a team that has both [talented inside and outside rushers. We haven’t really focused too much on that we’re kind of still working through a lot of stuff on our part,” Jones said, adding: “Like what are we going to do schematically to just get better these next couple days… You have to really understand how to get the ball out, when you need to throw it, who you need to throw it to, reading coverage quicker, all those things.”

Even with the injuries and instability found up front on New England’s offensive unit, Jones added that he could alleviate the pressure felt against his linemen by executing and getting the ball out quickly before the Eagles collapse the pocket.

“I think as a quarterback you always want to be on time,” Jones said. “Try to get the ball out to the skill players as quickly as you can. I think that’s super important because they make the yards. The offensive line has to do a good job of blocking up front, and I know they will. You kind of just have to trust everybody, stick to your rules, stick to what you know, get the ball out to the person that it’s supposed to go to.”

Roster cuts underway

The Patriots have already gotten a head start on their efforts of trimming their roster down to 53 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m. Already, New England has officially announced 13 roster cuts, including quarterback Trace McSorley.

Even though McSorley had an uphill climb when it came to unseating an established quarterback on New England’s depth chart, Jones acknowledged that roster cuts are always the most difficult part of the preseason schedule.

“Obviously it’s the tough part, this day and week for everybody.,” Jones said of McSorley’s release. “Obviously Trace was a great addition to our room. He definitely helped me a lot, he’s an older quarterback, played on a few different teams, definitely learned a lot from him and wish him nothing but the best and all that.

“It’s definitely a tough day, but you kind of just have to support your teammates and realize that these guys are people too. You never know when your last snap is going to be. You just hope they get another chance.”

Jones drew the ire of veteran defensive end Calais Campbell last season for his tendency to take it too far with trash-talking habits. 

“Philip Rivers was a good trash talker, but he was never disrespectful, Mac Jones actually, he was kind of disrespectful,” Campbell said, per The Athletic. “I’m like, ‘Hold on, man.’ Just trash talk to the highest level. It was like, ‘You don’t trash-talk me.’”

Campbell, who now plays for the Falcons, already has some history with Jones. While playing for the Ravens in 2022, it was Campbell who dropped Jones to the turf in New England’s Week 3 loss to Baltimore, resulting in a high ankle sprain that sidelined the Patriot for a month.

Despite Campbell’s comments, Jones did not validate the defensive end’s claim that he takes it too far when talking trash.

“I don’t know about that,” Jones said. “But I definitely enjoyed watching him growing up because he was a Jaguar. So he’s a really good player and I try to keep it loose out there. The guys that have played with me and played against me know that it’s all fun and games. So that’s the most important part for me is having fun, and I’m really just having a good time.”

Jones supported Ronnie Perkins’ highlight-reel play last week

There weren’t a whole lot of memorable highlights for the Patriots during their preseason finale against the Titans on Friday night.

The top play of the evening might have come from linebacker Ronnie Perkins, who threw up before a snap and ultimately recorded a tackle just seconds later.

Despite the optics, Jones was a fan of both Perkins’ determination — and carefree attitude after the stomach-churning play.

“That was awesome, I think,” Jones said. “He ended up making the tackle. I’ve definitely seen that before but I don’t know if I’ve ever done that … He kind of came off smiling so we just thought it was funny in a way. I think he was just ready to go out there and make some plays. I love that about him.”