The Patriots’ Bill Belichick returns the clock and names the Mac Jones Week 1 starter

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The parallels between Tom Brady and Mac Jones ‘New England Patriots ascent run thick, an Eagles’ tight end may be on the go – just not the one you’d expect – and much more inside this week’s Between The Hash Marks.

By making one of the most forward-rushing moves of the NFL offseason, it looks like the New England Patriots are returning the clock after naming the first round for the selection of Mac Jones, who started quarterback in Week 1 and released Cam Newton on Tuesday.

While Bill Belichick’s decision to pull the plug on a former MVP and skip the Jones era in Foxboro surprised many outsiders, coaches and executives throughout the league surprised with Tuesday’s news with a knowing nod.

“Mac is a very accurate and very expectant fit,” an NFC head coach told FanSided on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk about players on other teams. “He’s just an ordinary athlete … But again, that was Tom Brady. We all saw how it worked. ”

It’s almost impossible to believe that we once lived in a world where similar things were said about Brady, who as the sixth round of his second season was little more than a game manager. But that was the world in 2001, when Brady completed 63.9 percent of his passes to 2,843 yards with 18 touchdowns to 12 interceptions after replacing an injured Drew Bledsoe, who led New England to his first of six Super Bowls and changed the course in The NFL story forever.

What made the Patriots’ team so successful in 2001 – in addition to Brady’s clutch performances throughout the off-season – was a defense that allowed only 15 touchdowns, keeping opponents at just 17 points per game. Match.

Belichick and the Patriots appear to be aiming for history to repeat itself with Jones, the 6-foot-3 and 200-pound quarterback out of Alabama showing that he has the arm strength to make every throw on the grid over three preseason seasons. matches, the consistency of putting together long and time-consuming scoring drives, and at times had the pocket-presence of an experienced veteran while working on New England’s first-team offense this summer.

Jones’ rise to the starting lineup and first chance to emerge as Brady’s heir to Foxboro a year after his departure to Tampa Bay, where he led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl championship, is an offseason that saw the Patriots invest significant resources on offense.

Letting Jones into a supporting cast that now includes tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, as well as budding slot recipient Nelson Agholor, in a system that has been tailored to his best features, could catapult the second chapter of Belichick’s legacy.

“I think this move is about Bill lifting their passing game to NFL standards,” the former NFL chief for The Year Randy Mueller tells FanSided. “It was not there last year. Now Josh McDaniels has a solid platform to expand the game plan in the pass over a season of 17 games.

“They were really cap-strapped last year and they were really upgraded at the close end and receiver. The passing game will really get better with Mac over Cam. ”

In his three pre-season appearances, Jones’ 92.2 overall rating from Pro Football Focus was second highest among all passers-by this summer.

“He is probably the least mobile of all [rookie] quarterbacks, and it may be something that works in his favor, ”former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Charlie Batch told me during a recent appearance on FanSides Matt Lombardo Show podcast. “He’s capable of sitting in his pocket, delivering football off the pitch … they can say ‘we can cut this offense out because we’m used to what this offense can look like with a quarterback like him leading the.'”

The consistent lines between Brady replacing an injured Bledsoe continue with the opening left behind by Newton’s decision not to take the COVID-19 vaccination, despite the health and professional risks that came with his choice.

Maybe one day decades in the future, Patriots fans will gather over Samuel Adams in a waterhole in Boston, reminiscent of Newton being forced to quarantine for five days after undergoing a COVID-19 test away from the team facility and thus violated protocols and forced to quarantine for five days.

Jones stole the job that week, at one point completing 34-of-40 passes in joint practice with the NY Giants and very clearly earned the trust of Belichick, McDaniels and the Patriots.

Newton, on the other hand, could no longer be trusted … At least in part because he has not been vaccinated.

The potential if Newton stayed on the list was that a vaccinated Jones could test positive for COVID-19. And because Newton is not vaccinated, he would be considered a close contact who would force the Patriots to play an emergency quarterback.

That kind of lack of personal responsibility has no place in “The Patriot Way.”

As Newton faces an uphill climb to find another job as an unvaccinated player who needs to isolate himself before taking a personal visit, Jones is now the new Patriots Wunderkind.

“I want to say this … Mac Jones is a really good football player,” a current NFL offensive coordinator tells FanSided. “I liked that he came out a lot.”

Clearly, the Patriots do, too.

Eagles tight end around the face

Close end will be among the most coveted positions on the waiver thread in the coming days as teams look to extract reliable passers-by for young quarterbacks, identify some stopgap opportunities to get through early season injuries or simply upgrade the offense.

Eagles’ tight end Zach Ertz has been the subject of persistent trade rumors throughout the offseason, but as cuts have been made to the roster and another off-season milestone is in the rearview mirror, Ertz looks more and more likely to return to City of Brotherly Love for its ninth NFL season.

But do not be surprised if Eagles general manager Howie Roseman ends up moving one of Philadelphia’s other tight ends … Dallas Goedert.

Trading Goedert, number 49 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and a favorite of former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson would mean a complete exorcism of the franchise’s only Super Bowl winning coach influence.

According to several league sources, Roseman discussed moving Goedert into a trade with the Vikings before Minnesota on to acquiring Chris Herndon in a deal with the Jets.

There is a belief in the league that if the Eagles eventually end trade with Deshaun Watson that Goedert could be a piece of the package, Roseman is offering the Texans to the struggling quarterback.

Ertz is a respected locker room manager, played a crucial role in the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory that captured the game-winning touchdown against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and if Roseman is truly open to moving Goedert, Ertz has the chance to be a favorite goal for second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts in an offense built around speed and youth on the perimeter.



“There’s a chance that if our stadium is not ready to host the Packers in Week 1, where can it be? There is a chance that the game can be right here at AT&T Stadium, ”said Payton. “… We think that would be something very realistic.”

– New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, on the possibility of spending a month away from Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida

Fortunately, on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which landed over New Orleans, the city’s living system and the catastrophic loss of life that Substorm created on Bayou were avoided as Hurricane Ida followed an almost identical path on Sunday.

Yet winds of 150 kilometers per hour and heavy rain left their mark on the city, beating power to more than a million people across New Orleans.

Football is very clearly secondary or very significantly lower from the concerns of New Orleans residents and for a time maybe even some holy players worried about family and property at home as they camped in the Dallas Fort Worth area this week and perhaps for the foreseeable future .

The Saints have been here before and spent an entire season away from home in Baton Rouge and San Antonio, so Payton has experience navigating a season on the go. Still, the Saints are scheduled to host the Packers Sept. 12 and the Giants Oct. 3, and there’s a very real possibility that when the Cowboys start the season at the league’s opening Thursday night football extravaganza in Tampa Bay, it will be Flour- De -Lis replaces the star in midfield in week 1.

New Orleans’ showdown with the Giants could be more difficult, perhaps moving that game to be part of a Monday Night Football doubleheader or Houston as the Texans are in Buffalo in Week 4.

Fortunately, and most importantly, people in New Orleans avoided a worst-case scenario this time around. And the Saints, who are scheduled to be on the move in weeks 2 and 3, make this a less logistical challenge than it might otherwise have been for Payton and Co., and the experience of Katrina could be an asset for the head coach as he leads his team on what can be a month’s stay away from home.

Finally thought

Tua Tagovailoa should request trade from the Miami Dolphins.

A year removed from the dolphins who selected Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL Draft 2020 and became yo-yoed throughout the season sharing time with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami has shown the world how little they think about their 23-year-old -old quarterback.

Despite passing 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns to just five interceptions in 10 games as a rookie and presenting a stellar pre-season where he 282 passes yards with a touchdown and an interception while completing 24-of-34 passing attempts, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores have aggressively pursued a trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watson, who faces criminal sexual misconduct and 22 civil lawsuits amid credible allegations of sexual assault, is Grier and Flore’s eye apple, despite Tagovailoa proving the Dolphins won six of his nine starts a year ago .

If a general manager and head coach is willing to bet their positions and reputation on a quarterback who is reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and according to Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson will invest three first-round picks and two second-round picks to replace him, there is no future for Tagovailoa in Miami.

There are plenty of teams around the league with better supportive throws and more steadfast support from the organization that would likely consider Tagovailoa an upgrade over their current situation; from the Washington Football Team to the Denver Broncos, to maybe even the Minnesota Vikings or New Orleans Saints.

If Grier and Flores do not believe in Tagovailoa, Tua should get them to prove it. And let Watson chips fall where they may.

Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks every Wednesday. Email Matt: [email protected] Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL


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