Pats says Jones with a new look is in the best shape of his life

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots teammates see a new and improved Mac Jones as the quarterback enters his second season with the team.

“He’s in the best shape of his life,” receiver Kendrick Bourne said Monday. “He looks really good. His stomach is gone.

“When you’re a rookie, you just do not know it until you’ve been through it for a year. So he’s definitely a lot more in shape than he’s ever been, and he’s just dominating in conditioning. It’s silly to see . “

Jones, the 2021 first-round pick from Alabama who started every game of his rookie NFL season, told reporters it has been a big part of his offseason plan.

“I just cleaned up my diet,” the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Jones said after Monday’s workout. “I’ve learned more out of season than I’ll probably ever done about nutrition, sleep, wellness, all that.

“At the same time, I need to be able to keep my weight and be able to take punches. There is a fine balance for each player. I have definitely cut down on body fat and I get a chance to bulge up before the season. start and be able to absorb hits. “

Jones ‘improved physical makeup is not the only notable change with the Patriots’ attack, as longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels has traveled to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Monday was the first time journalists got access to watch the Patriots practice this offseason, and head coach Bill Belichick’s involvement in the offense was remarkable. In the final 11-on-11 practice, Belichick read a card to Jones, who then passed on information to his teammates.

Former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge works with quarterbacks, while former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia joins the offensive line. Both coaches also took leadership roles with the offensive at times on Monday.

Belichick has not named a coordinator or playcaller at this time.

“It’s not my decision to make and we have plenty of time for all that. So right now it’s about the guys and I getting on the same page,” Jones said. “It always goes back to the players and we are excited to grow together and learn from the one who trains us.”

About Belichick, who spent more time on offense on Monday, Jones said: “Obviously he has a great defensive mind, but he also has great offensive knowledge.”

Belichick’s presence with the offense was also noted by Bourne, the six-year-old NFL veteran in his second season with the Patriots.

“He has been more present and helped us,” he said. “It’s new, so he wants it to go a certain way. He’s a defensive guy, so it’s almost just embracing and taking advantage of the time we get with him.”

Last season, when Jones finished 352-of-521 for 3,801 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, he was often seen on the sidelines with McDaniels, who was also the team’s quarterbacks coach. The two formed an instant connection.

Jones said he’s happy McDaniels gets a head coach job and he’s also excited to open the next chapter with Judge.

“He’s done a great job of training us,” he said. “He’s seen a lot of football, been around football for a long time, whether it’s as head coach, special team, even playing the position [in college].

“So he has a knowledge that is very beneficial to me as a quarterback, and it’s clear I want to learn with him. It’s the goal, in a way, to teach each other and take what he knows, and then take that experience, there I have, and combine them and work together as a great team. “

Meanwhile, Jones is excited about the Patriots’ receivers, with trade acquisition DeVante Parker joining last year’s core, which includes Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and tight-ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

“I’m really happy with the group we have,” Jones said. “DeVante has done a fantastic job of working in a new system. It’s a good group and we just have to keep raising each other and pushing each other and competing.”



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