Watch CBS News

In rare Instagram post, Mac Jones shows he's still a believer in the poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling

Patriots set to host a game in Germany during 2023 season
Patriots set to host a game in Germany during 2023 season 00:27

BOSTON -- Last year, Mac Jones was coming off a very successful rookie season that ended in rather brutal fashion.

This year, Jones is coming off a rather poor second season, one filled with frustration, injury, and on-field struggles.

The two years couldn't have been any different, but Jones' mindset and motivation as he approaches the offseason remains the same.

The quarterback took to Instagram to make a rare post on Wednesday, sharing six photos from the 2022 season and writing a brief one-word caption: "If--"

Prior to posting about his My Cause My Cleats partner last week, Jones hadn't posted on Instagram since September. His social media emergence brought about comments of support from teammates like Kendrick Bourne, Trent Brown, Christian Barmore, DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, Damien Harris, Deatrich Wise, Kevin Harris, and the Patriots' official account. 

The caption is a reference to the poem "If--" by Rudyard Kipling. It's a poem that Jones referenced last August, along with "The Man In The Arena" speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt.

"I do love the two poems a lot, so that's a big shout out to my dad because he kind of gave me those when I was probably like 6 years old," Jones said last summer. "He kind of explained everything to me. And as I grew, I continue to just enjoy that. Actually, the 'If--' poem is in Wimbledon. So that's where he learned about it, in the locker room in Wimbledon. So that's pretty cool." 

Here's the full text of the poem, from the Poetry Foundation :

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!

The portion of the poem that can be found in Wimbledon involves the meeting of triumph and disaster and treating "those two impostors just the same."

Clearly, Jones connects with the message in the poem, and it figures to be an aid for him in keeping his focus this offseason, as he tries to work toward a bounce-back season in New England -- a year that could be a bit of a make-or-break season in terms of the long-term outlook and scope of his NFL career.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.