BOSTON (CBS) — With Cam Newton returning to the practice field for the Patriots, Mac Jones was relegated to mostly taking second-team reps. After being handed the keys to the New England offense over the last few days, and absolutely dominating Wednesday’s session against the New York Giants, that must have been a bit of a bummer for the rookie quarterback.
But if he was disappointed with it, Jones didn’t let it show when chatting with reporters after Thursday’s joint practice in Foxboro.READ MORE: Tom Brady Is Selling A Special T-Shirt For His Return To Foxboro
“Everybody wants to take first-team reps, but it goes with the role. It’s exciting and it’s still football,” he said of his role on Thursday. “I have to do my job and fix the things I did bad, but I think we made progress.
“Today, we could have finished better,” he added. “That start’s with me, really.”
Jones did receive a good amount of 11-on-11 reps, but he was his biggest critic on Thursday, unhappy with his performance after turning heads on Wednesday. He said it was harder to get into a flow on the second team, but didn’t use it as an excuse. He was upset with himself over an interception during Thursday’s practice, saying he has to do a better job at going through his reads. Giants safeties consistently confused him throughout the day, so like every day after practice, he’ll be hitting the film room to see what he did wrong and how to fix it.READ MORE: Rob Gronkowski 'Likely' To Play Vs. Patriots, Despite Injury Scare On Sunday
“We played well but there is a lot of things to work on. Today wasn’t as good, but we’ll figure out what we did bad and fix it,” he said.
Jones’ performance on Wednesday, paired with Newton’s absence and the circumstances around it, appeared to have shifted the QB battle a bit. But that was quickly rejected when Belichick inserted Newton back into the No. 1 quarterback spot on Thursday. All signs are pointing to Newton being the top guy when Week 1 arrives in a little over two weeks, though Belichick said Thursday morning there was no timetable for naming a starter.
Would Jones be disappointed if he doesn’t earn the starting gig for Week 1?MORE NEWS: The Patriots Need A Lot More Out Of Jonnu Smith -- And The Tight End Knows It
“That’s beyond my control. I can just control my effort every day and trying; I’m putting in a lot of work and everyone else is too,” said the rookie. “At the end of the day there should be no drop-off. In the quarterback room — it’s something Josh [McDaniels] always talks about — there is a standard we play to in New England. It doesn’t matter if you’re first-, second- or third-string. Today I felt like I could have been better living up to those standards.”