Dan Orlovsky Rips Patriots For Ruining Mac Jones: 'A 101 of How To Ruin a Young Promising Quarterback'

Dan Orlovsky
Dan Orlovsky /

The Mac Jones era in New England came to an end over the weekend as the Patriots shipped out the 2021 draft pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round pick. You may be surprised at the low return considering Jones was widely accepted to have a first-round pedigree merely three years ago but in the end the Pats should feel lucky they got anything at all. Jones put on a disasterclass of nearly unmatched proportions last season and by the end of it all had clearly lost the trust of his teammates and the organization. It's a new age with Jerod Mayo in charge now but a fresh start is the only shot Jones has at recouping his stock league-wide to the point where he may get another chance at starting in the NFL.

This was the inevitable conclusion to the Jones-Patriots saga and pretty much everybody will be moving on to what this means for New England in the draft. They sit at the No. 3 overall slot and what choice they make will play a big role in determining how the rest of the top-10 shakes out. But Dan Orlovsky is not ready to do so quite yet and took his time on Get Up to lay blame at the feet of the franchise for how far Jones fell.

Here's Orlovsky explaining why what the Patriots did is a "101 in how to ruin a promising young quarterback" and they better not start a QB if they pick one in the draft unless they want the same thing to happen (at the 3:06 mark below):

I mean, he's not wrong. Bill Belichick really did do whatever he could to hamstring Jones at every opportunity, presumably under the assumption that his defense would always be good enough to compensate. He refused to invest in the offensive line or the receiving core and did not place much value in having good coaches to help Jones learn. Then he got mad when Jones failed as a result of these obstacles and went back and forth between him and Bailey Zappe as the team stumbled to a 4-13 finish. The downfall of Jones coincided with the downfall of Belichick and now neither will be in Foxborough for 2024.

At the same time, though, Jones is not exactly blameless. You could make the case that all the tape from 2023 should be thrown out due to the bad position the Patriots put him in but really all it did was prove what we always suspected about Jones-- that he has almost no margin for error. He can't threaten defenses with his legs and does not possess a particularly strong arm. That means that, on every snap, he needs to have something resembling a clean pocket and receivers who will be on point with their route-running and timing. Anything less and Jones is toast.

It is very hard to succeed at the quarterback position in the NFL when you can't make up for all the little things that might go wrong on a given play by throwing guys open or scrambling. All of the league's best quarterbacks (and even just the above-average ones) can cover for their teammates in a pinch. Jones absolutely cannot and it's hard to see a universe in which he could, absent being surrounded by an All-Star team of wideouts and linemen.

The Patriots ruined Mac Jones. No doubt about it. But Jones had a long way to go in the first place.