I came out pre-draft and said, “Mac Jones is a polished, pro ready version of Trevor Lawrence.”
Who am I to say that?
I looked Bill Belichick in the eyes and convinced him to hire me in scouting with no formal background in football.
This Sunday night may be the most watched game ever when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to New England to play the Patriots. It’s Brady vs. Belichick for all the marbles.
I really liked Mac Jones coming out of college – – and I continue to like Mac Jones, even after his loss Sunday against the Saints. If there is one player in this past draft who was built to play under the lights, it is Mac Jones.
I also love Tom Brady and respect the hell out of him. This has nothing to do with that. If I were a betting man, I am just saying, I would put my money on the man who created Tom Brady over Tom Brady himself.
Belichick has won more Super Bowls than any other head coach in NFL history and I have confidence that he and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are going to find a way to win Sunday night. Belichick and McDaniels know Brady as well if not better than Brady knows Brady.
Trust me, they will exploit every weakness that he has, that they know of.
They will also find a way to schematically put Jones in position to make the throws he has to make.
Only a fool would bet against Bill Belichick. He has run circles around the parody-driven NFL for the past two decades and it was not all Tom Brady – – Belichick built all those 53-man rosters. I am not taking anything away from Brady because Brady is great. I am just saying, it was not all Tom Brady blocking for Brady and he did not throw the ball to himself. Brady also never played a down of defense and he never kicked the ball either.
I love how everyone continues to wrap Lawrence, Wilson, and Lance in excuses while they have not shown that same grace towards Jones. I guess that is because Jones does not fit the popular mainstream narratives?
That is the only answer I can come up with. Mac Jones was only recruited by the most successful college and pro head coaches of all time in Nick Saban and Bill Belichick.
Jones 2021 stats (through three games espn.com)
In two of these three games Jones completed 73%-74% of his passes, and threw no interceptions prior to New Orleans. That is pretty darn good. Just ask the human interception machines Lawrence and Wilson how good that is.
Jones has shown the ability to play within himself as he continues to learn the pro game and all throughout the preseason (69.2% completion rate), and in 2/3 regular season games as well. Even against New Orleans 30/51 for 270 is not too bad. I do not like the three interceptions whatsoever, just saying he still pitched for almost 300 yards.
Jones can do this.
Knowing also how shrewd Belichick is – – it would not even surprise me if I learned he did not really try to win against New Orleans, just to mentally set up the Buccaneers. I am not saying he did or did not do that – – I am just saying good luck playing poker against Bill Belichick.
This is a pivotal game for both teams.
Who wants it more, Belichick or Brady?
Both legacies are on the line and this game will greatly decide how each team’s season will go – – and if Mac Jones continues to start as a rookie. Belichick did not spend all this money in free agency to watch the ship go down. Belichick does this for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to win the Super Bowl. I know, I was around him every day in the office for two years.
There is a lot riding on this one.
I am going with Belichick and Jones. I say Brady is going to hand the baton to Jones by the end of the night.
Who are you taking?
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.