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Mac Jones leaves something behind this year


“His stomach is gone and he looks really good.”

Mac Jones enters the field before the start of training on Monday at Foxborough. Photo AP/Steven Senne

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne probably had to do a double take when he saw quarterback Mac Jones.

Bourne noted Jones was missing something he brought with him when he arrived in New England as Alabama’s first draft pick last year.

“His stomach is gone and he looks really good,” Bourne laughed after Monday’s organized team activity at the practice grounds behind Gillette Stadium. “He’s definitely a pro of the pros now.

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“When you’re a rookie, you don’t know until you’ve been through this for a year. So he’s definitely a lot fitter than he’s ever been. He just dominates in conditioning, and that’s just great to see. So he will be able to endure more in a game and endure more.

According to Jones, conditioning is an area he prioritizes after a rookie season that saw him throw for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns (with 13 interceptions) while leading his team to 10 regular season wins and a berth. in the playoffs.

“I think every year you want to do like a self-assessment: how you felt through games and body fat, all that stuff,” Jones said. “For me, it’s all about cleaning up my diet, and I’ve learned more than ever about nutrition, sleep, wellness, all that stuff.”

Jones said he’s focused on “eating healthy, eliminating a lot of things that are bad for my diet, but at the same time I have to maintain my weight and be able to take hits, so there’s a good balance for every player Every player is different and for me I’ve definitely reduced the body fat a bit, and I’ll have the chance to bulk up before the start of the season and be able to absorb the hits.

While Jones may be sporting a bit of a new look, he’ll be quarterbacking an offense that also has a new look. Josh McDaniels, longtime offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Patriots, left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

While the team has yet to announce another offensive coordinator, at various times Monday head coach Bill Belichick, Joe Judge and Matt Patricia appeared to be in charge of the offense.

Judge, fired as head coach of the New York Giants after last season, is listed by the Patriots as an offensive assistant. Patricia, the former head coach of the Detroit Lions, is listed by the team as a senior football advisor.

Jones said the fact that the team has yet to announce an offensive coordinator is irrelevant to him.

“It’s not my decision to make and we have plenty of time for all of this, so right now it’s about the guys and I being on the same page,” he said. . “The running backs, the tight ends, the receivers, and then working with the offensive line doing certain things with them just to make sure we’re all on the same page.

“So it always comes down to the players, and we’re excited to grow together and learn from whoever coaches us.”

Jones said he’s been happy with a passing corps that added wide receivers DeVante Parker (acquired in a trade from the Miami Dolphins) and Tyquan Thornton (a second-round pick from Baylor) this season.

“I’m really happy with the squad we have,” Jones said. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with all of them in the offseason at various places and here and stuff, so I’m really happy with everybody, and we have a tight group again. DeVante did a great job. coming in and working in a new system. He has some familiarity with the Dolphins and all that, but we’re happy to have him and anyone who can contribute to our team… So it’s a good group, and we have to just keep lifting each other up and pushing each other and competing.”


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