Patriots’ Mac Jones no stranger to quarterback shuffle

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Benching Mac Jones would be a bold move by Bill Belichick. Or a panic move.

Yes, Jones has struggled this season. Yes, he has the same number of interceptions (10) as he does touchdowns, and that is never a good thing.

Yes, the Patriots take a three-game losing streak into Sunday’s game against the Giants.

And yes, Jones has been pulled out of three games this season, and he and his offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien, have had emotional and, at times, angry exchanges as things have unraveled with a team averaging just 14.1 points a game.

Belichick hadn’t declared all week who will start under center for the Patriots on Sunday, but it appears the veteran coach finally made a decision regarding Jones’ fate late Saturday night.

According to a Boston Herald report, Jones will start against the Giants.


Mac Jones of New England Patriots
Mac Jones of New England Patriots
DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Nevertheless, this intrigue has all been fairly new for Jones, 25, though he is not totally unfamiliar with having an inside look at a quarterback shuffle.

In his freshman redshirt season at Alabama in 2017, Jones was on the scene when Jalen Hurts was the starter and Tua Tagovailoa was the backup, until things flip-flopped in the second half of the national championship game, with Brian Daboll, the Giants’ head coach, the offensive coordinator at the time in Tuscaloosa.

“I’ve dealt with this my whole life, whether it was Pop Warner, high school, college,’’ Jones said. “I was part of — I wasn’t really in it — but I was with Jalen and Tua. I witnessed everything. I heard every conversation, watched everything, watched every move between each guy. So, I learned a lot about both of them and learned a lot about myself, too. Just trying to learn from their situation, and talking with Jalen and Tua and having those friendships is always good.’’

Jones came into the weekend owning a 3-0 record at MetLife Stadium, with all three victories against the Jets.

Bailey Zappe, who had been the other quarterback in consideration to start all week, is 2-0 in his NFL career as a starter.


Do we have a challenger to the Victor Cruz alsa, a touchdown celebration spawned by Cruz’s Puerto Rican heritage, in the annals of Giants lore?

Well, not yet. Cruz scored 25 touchdowns during his time with the Giants, plus one in a Super Bowl victory. But if Tommy DeVito, from Cedar Grove, N.J., continues to get his team in the end zone — he already has thrown six touchdown passes in his limited time on the field — perhaps his homage to his Italian roots will catch on as a beloved Giants’ tradition.

DeVito raised his right arm in the air and rubbed his fingers together after tossing a touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley — one of three scoring passes for DeVito in last week’s 31-19 victory over the Commanders. The gesture, DeVito said, was suggested to him a few weeks ago by Phil Buzzerio, an assistant athletic trainer with the Giants.

“I kind of thought it was just the old Italians, when they talk, they start doing this,’’ DeVito said, recreating the hand gesture. “It’s just a little credit to them. A little bit.’’


Joe Judge signed a five-year contract as the Giants head coach and was fired with a record of 10-23 after his second season, meaning the Giants are paying him through the 2024 season. He returned to the Patriots in 2022, and the past two seasons has served as an offensive assistant, quarterbacks coach and assistant to head coach Belichick.


Rookie RB Eric Gray was activated off injured reserve. He had been out since Week 7 with a calf injury. Gray struggled as the punt returner earlier this season.



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