BOSTON (CBS) -- If the Patriots want to bounce back from their Week 1 loss to the Dolphins, the team knows they're going to have to do a much better job keeping Mac Jones clean. The rookie quarterback took a beating against Miami, something center David Andrews seemed to take personally when chatting with reporters on Monday afternoon.
Andrews was impressed with Jones' performance in his NFL debut, with the quarterback completing 29 of his 39 passes in the face of some serious pressure by the Miami pass rush. Despite having a defender in his face on most of his drop backs, Jones stood in the pocket and was able to go through his reads like an experienced vet.
But Jones was knocked down quite a but on Sunday, and Andrews wants to see that change going forward.
"I thought Mac showed a lot of mental toughness. He did some things really well. We have to do a little better job protecting him at times. I think he took too many hits," Andrews said of Jones hitting the turf throughout New England's 17-16 loss on Sunday. "I thought he really showed some toughness, standing in there and making some big throws, taking the hits and keep moving."
Jones was only sacked once, but he was hit a total of nine times by Miami's vaunted pass rush. The Dolphins are an extremely blitz-happy team, so the pressure on Jones was expected throughout his debut. But after losing right tackle Trent Brown after the team's first series, the New England offense line struggled to keep Miami's rushers off their quarterback.
Still, the Patriots were in a position to win at the end of the game, thanks in large part to Jones standing tall in the pocket and completing finding his targets. Andrews was not the only veteran impressed by what the rookie displayed on Sunday.
"I believe that he put us in a position to win. That's all you can ask for from a quarterback," said tight end Jonnu Smith. "I think he was very poised, very confident, and that's what you love to see, especially out of a young guy. You knew he was going to control the offense, and I know he's going to do everything in his power to come back and get ready for this week's opponent and be better."
While Jones has received heaps of praise for his debut performance, the quarterback wasn't very happy following the game because the team was on the losing side. As Jones made his way off the field on Sunday, Andrews embraced his quarterback and gave him some words of wisdom. The long-time captain wouldn't share his conversation with Jones, but did explain his motives to reporters.
"I remember when I was a young guy and starting as a rookie. I know what that's like," he said. "As a rookie, there's a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I remember what it was like with some of those lows and how people talked to me and addressed and how it made me feel."
Andrews and the rest of the offensive line will look to keep the New York Jets off of Jones on Sunday. In their Week 1 loss to Carolina, the Jets sacked Panthers quarterback QB Sam Darnold once while putting eight total hits on him.
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