When you think of quarterback Mac Jones, what do you think in regard to the 2023/24 NFL season? A young up-and-coming QB that gets charity starts for the New England Patriots in the name of development? He could be framed that way but Jones could also be looked at in a different light.
He has 31 appearances in NFL regular-season games. In a league where careers are short and games are played just weekly during the season, 31 games for a career total isn’t too shabby. Even though he is just a third-year man, he could be viewed as a QB with some precious experience now. Furthermore, Jones just might benefit under a new offensive coordinator in 2023/24.
Bill O’Brien has a tough job ahead
The New England Patriots also got Bill O’Brien back in a signing from very early in 2023. He will be the team’s offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks coach. You could argue that he is overqualified for the job. O’Brien was the head coach of the Houston Texans for seven seasons. During his tenure, he actually turned in a winning record of 52-48. Furthermore, he claimed four divisional titles and actually won two playoff games.
Does O’Brien have enough to work with? When looking at the New England Patriots QB situation, arguments could be made against Mac Jones developing into a premier NFL QB. He did NOT show improvement in his second year in the NFL. In fact, he regressed by QBR and passer rating.
But the Patriots have at least a flickering light at the QB2 position. Bailey Zappe had some good games last season, at least for passing. In the four games that he appeared in, his offense was never dead in the water. He threw for just five touchdowns but his passer rating on the season was just over 100 at 100.9. He didn’t bring much else to the table with, literally, zero rushing yards. But there is some potential for a quarterbacking controversy in New England in 2023/24. You have to wonder who O’Brien’s ideas will favor more: Jones or Zappe.
Mike Gesicki is a good addition
The Patriots have two QBs that they could start and hope to win some games with. They have tight-end depth as well.
Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki are the tight ends. There’s definitely something to work with on the plays that the QBs will have to check down. Furthermore, Gesicki promises to bring some red-zone effectiveness.
The Patriots are looking like an average team in a lot of ways. For those that don’t see a lot of potential based on the players, don’t forget the coaches. O’Brien should be strong in his new job and the head coach of the team requires no comment. Look for the Patriots to surprise many in 2023/24.
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