Mac Jones on Bill Belichick leaving Patriots

Mac Jones, who was benched after a poor season, spoke on the club and Bill Belichick's decision to split ways after 24 years and six Super Bowl championships.

“Coach Belichick has had such a tremendous influence on my life," the third-year quarterback said on Instagram Thursday night. "After seeing Coach Belichick and the Patriots win the Super Bowl in my hometown, my goal of playing in the NFL got greater.

Being chosen by the Patriots fulfilled my NFL goal, and I'm thankful to have played for and learned under such a renowned coach."

Alabama native Jones was drafted 15th overall by the Patriots in 2021. Jones was named to the Pro Bowl after starting his first season and passing for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns, both career highs.

Jones' sophomore season deteriorated, and his third year was worse. In 2023, Jones threw for 2,120 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Patriots started 2-9 under Belichick. Belichick made the tough decision to bench Jones for Bailey Zappe.

The former coach "Coach Belichick has impacted me and so many other players in immeasurable ways," Jones said. "I hope Coach Belichick and his family succeed. 

Jones was criticized by fans and the media following his benching, but teammates say he never let it impair his work ethic. The 25-year-old QB went the weight gym, examined more film, and prepared for whatever came next.

Jones, entering the season's final game as a third-stringer, remembered all that Belichick did for him over his career

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