“The dope thing about football is you really have to start from (step) one every single year. You’ve got to start with the fundamentals – breaking 90 degrees, 45 degrees, downhill, tracking the ball,” Jones said, via Dolphins Wire.
“For me, I’d love to work on my technique more and just be more of a technician and not rely just solely on my athleticism; and I’d also like to be more of a playmaker and get my head around and take more chances at the ball. Instead of batting them down, take those boys back to the house like (Howard) did last year. Those are the things that I’m working on; but like I said, you really have to build from the ground up every single year.”
The star of Jets OTAs so far hasn’t been No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, though the rookie quarterback has looked good. It’s been second-round WR Elijah Moore who is catching everything in sight. Moore’s work ethic (he regularly arrives to the facility at 6:30 AM for extra work), route-running, speed and versatility have stood out to Jets HC Robert Saleh.
“[Moore’s] work ethic is off the charts… His mindset is off the charts,” said Saleh, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.
Saleh added Moore, who primarily played in the slot at Ole Miss, can play all three receiver spots in their offense.
“He can line up wherever you want, and he’s going to execute it at a very high level, even though the routes might be a little bit different, the stems might be different, the releases might be a little bit different,” Saleh said. “He’s showcasing his ability to be as versatile as possible in terms of being at different parts of the field, being at different positions, understanding what needs to get done, so when the ball gets to his hands he can still do what he does best — and that’s run after catch.”
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapaport, the Patriots knew they didn’t need to trade up for QB Mac Jones, which is why they stayed put.
“They didn’t trade up because I believe, obviously the Patriots have pretty good information, they knew they didn’t need to,” Rapaport said, via Ryan Hannable WEEI. “And obviously they were right. I know the Vikings (No. 14 overall) had some interest in Justin Fields … and once he was gone everyone knew the Vikings were going to bail because they were making calls to teams behind them to possibly move back, right. The Vikings were looking at quarterback a little bit and then ended up moving back. Once that happened, the Patriots knew no one else was coming up for Mac Jones. To them it was really more of a value, like, ‘Why would we move up if we clearly don’t have to. We’re just going to wait.’ And if they missed him, it would be a poorly calculated gamble, but they didn’t. They got him. So to me, that is just the Patriots having really good information and [predicting] the draft board falling as it did.
Rapaport also said the Patriots believe Jones’ floor is Bears QB Andy Dalton.
“I know Mac was someone Bill Belichick was interested in, that the Patriots were interested in. I know they liked him. I know at the very worst they believe Andy Dalton is sort of the floor, which Andy Dalton was a starter who led his team to the playoff for five years. Say whatever you want, but like he was a better than average quarterback for awhile. He wasn’t someone they were going to leap up for.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says his sense is that Jones has done enough to earn the chance to compete with QB Cam Newton for the starting job in training camp.
- Patriots S Devin McCourty said Jones has already shown his leadership ability this offseason: “That’s a different position being a young guy, because you’re automatically in that leadership role. But I think he’s used to that.” (Mike Reiss)