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Homecoming for Mac Jones: The Jaguars' New Backup QB Ready to Reboot His Career

031524 Mac Jones

JACKSONVILLE – Mac Jones likes his new location a lot. He likes his new fit even more.

The location is cool because he's home. But Jones said the coolest thing about his situation as the Jaguars' backup quarterback is what the fit could mean for his career.

"My goal was to kind of get the train back on the track," he said.

Jones, the No. 15 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, joined the Jaguars in a trade with the Patriots this week. He is expected to play a role as a backup to quarterback Trevor Lawrence – a role Jones said this week he will embrace while also trying to rebuild his confidence and career.

"I think I can do that here," Jones, who played high school football locally in Jacksonville at The Bolles School. "The coaches here have talked to me about that and just how I can help the room and how I can learn from Trevor and everybody here."

Jones added of Lawrence, "Obviously he's playing great football and he has done a great job here in Jacksonville, so I'm excited to get back with him and [2021-2023 backup] C.J. [Beathard] and just learn from them."

Jones, who played collegiately at the University of Alabama, went 18-24 in three seasons as a starter with the Patriots with 46 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He started 17 games as a rookie, leading the Patriots to the postseason with a 10-7 record with 22 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.

He went 8-17 over the past two seasons with 24 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions.

"Every experience is a good experience if you learn from it," Jones said. "You don't ever want to lose, you want to win every game you play in. But I understand that's sometimes really hard to do in the NFL and I don't have regrets. I feel like I've put everything out there and gave a lot to that organization and they gave a lot to me.

"I'm going to do the same thing here in a good way, be myself and be Mac – learn from Trevor and C.J. and the coaches here that have a lot of offensive background. That'll be important for me and that's a big reason why I felt like this was a good fit."

Jones, who on Thursday called his departure from the Patriots a "mutual parting of ways" and "the best decision for both of us," said Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's reputation with quarterbacks is another reason he likes this opportunity. Pederson in 2017 coached the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory following that season with backup quarterback Nick Foles starting in the postseason.

"I heard a lot of good things about him," Jones said of Pederson. "There are a lot of cool things there and I think he's a great coach. His track record is great, he understands the game. It sounds like everybody works together here and that was something that was encouraging to hear, it's a team effort and everyone is trying to win games."

Jones added, "It's about confidence, it's about putting in the work and doing everything right that you can. I feel like I did that and I'm going to continue to do that. The results may have been there some days and may not have been there the others. But I think the important part for me is sticking to that process like I've always done and just trying to get back to that – at the same time, just knowing my role, knowing where I'm at, understanding that this is a great spot for me in my hometown."


  • Newly-signed Jaguars Center Mitch Morse on playing for Pederson, his offensive coordinator during his rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015: "The one thing I do remember about Doug was actually less about his coaching, more about his personality. Not only is he not afraid of candid conversations, he's easy to talk to, he is the same person on and off the field. He's just a good man. Good dudes or good people usually lead to good football players. You have good Xs and Os, but what's it going to be like on game day? I've been very fortunate to be able to have good coaches that are steady presences, don't really ride the waves, the ebbs and flows that are the NFL … It's hard to do in such an emotionally charged business. I just remember him more as a person than as an Xs and Os guy and I'm really looking forward to getting back and working with him."

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