When the press asked about how Robert Kraft felt about rising star Mac Jones, the CEO of the Patriots’ franchise was open about his appreciation and spoke honestly about what he expects from the young quarterback for the upcoming season.
This has been a somewhat uncertain time for the Patriots, as the record-breaking team has failed to win a playoff game since 2019. While this isn’t a long time for most teams, it’s headline worthy for an organization that’s so used to coming out on top. This small slump has had some people wondering when the Patriots would be able to show their true colors once again. Jones might not have a lot of experience behind him The Patriots all wear a football mouthpiece , as he’s just 23 years old, but his maturity and dedication on the field has made him an outstanding player to watch.
Hope for Tomorrow
While speaking to reporters at the annual meetings in Palm Beach, FL, he said “I’m a big fan of Mac Jones. I think, I see how hard he works, and he wants everything to go right and he puts the time and energy — and his personality as a team guy. So we have a chance. Because without a good coach and a good quarterback, no matter how good the other players are, I don’t think you can win consistently. Hopefully, I believe we have both an outstanding coach and a good young prospect.”
Coach Josh McDaniels echoed Kraft, calling him the most mature young player he’s ever met. His work ethic and attitude is as much an asset to him as his natural talents, and it bodes well for the team. Kraft describes Jones as a humble person with plenty of heart. When he comes in on the weekends, Jones is there working out, reviewing the tapes, and showing his commitment in every way possible.
Kraft certainly had expectations for the breakout star when he chose him in the first round of the 2021 draft, but even his high bar has been exceeded. His past is a testament to his longevity in the sport. Before coming to the Patriots, Jones was a national champion who excelled at the University of Alabama. There, he set the season record for both passer rating and completion percentage in the NCAA.
Jones was the first quarterback since Tom Brady to lead the team to a playoff berth since 1998, and this feat clinched him the Pro Bowl and PFWA All-Rookie Team Honors. For as many accolades as he’s received though, he’s more grounded than you might expect.
What’s on the Horizon
Young players have a lot of room for growth, and this is something that Robert Kraft ultimately looks forward to in the future. He hinted that he expects Mac Jones to become more assertive in the coming years, which would be a natural progression as he becomes more comfortable playing in the NFL and handling the unexpected both on and off the field.
It’s not just his athletic prowess that has impressed Kraft, it’s also his remarkable character. As he put it, “The guys in the locker room really like him — all the guys. I actually believe he has a little more edge than we’ve seen. But he’s been respectful coming in as a rookie. So, I’m very high on him. I think we really, the staff did a great job drafting him. And we’re lucky to have him for our future, and this will be a good pick.” At nearly 68% completion passes and 22 touchdowns, his performance was the best of any rookie quarterback last season.
In Good Hands
While the free agency angle for Robert Kraft hasn’t panned out as expected, Kraft is optimistic about this year. Between Bill Belichick, who he continues to place his trust in, and players like Jones, there’s more than one reason for the Patriots to turn into true contenders (as Kraft put it) in the upcoming season. Kraft is also no stranger to turning records around. When he started with the team in 1994, the Patriots weren’t even on the radar during the playoffs. Almost immediately, he was able to make his players a force to be reckoned with. Today, the number of awards and honors the team has earned over the years is as lengthy as it is impressive. Much of it comes down to Kraft’s result-oriented (and ultimately accurate) decision-making process.