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Unnamed retired QB says Mac Jones "went from master class to pre-K" with Patriots' offensive coaching

Mac Jones reacts to Patriots' Week 2 win, Nelson Agholor's big touchdown
Mac Jones reacts to Patriots' Week 2 win, Nelson Agholor's big touchdown 01:39

BOSTON -- The 2022 NFL season is only a week old, but the early returns for the Patriots and their new-look offense are not good.

And one former quarterback has a rather harsh review after one week of action.

During Sunday's "ESPN NFL Countdown," veteran reporter Chris Mortensen referenced a "committee of scouts and coaches and retired players" that he often corresponds with for information throughout the season. Mortensen said one retired quarterback was thoroughly unimpressed with the offense he saw Mac Jones operating last week.

"Mac Jones, under Josh McDaniels, as one retired quarterback said, 'went from a master class to pre-K with this team,'" Mortensen shared. 

That is, obviously, a blunt judgment on offensive play caller/offensive line coach Matt Patricia as well as quarterbacks coach Joe Judge. Neither coach has ever held such a position on an offensive coaching staff before, yet both men have been given the full trust of Bill Belichick to run the operation after Josh McDaniels left New England to become the Raiders' head coach.

In addition to the loss of McDaniels, the Patriots lost longtime running backs coach Ivan Fears to retirement, as well as a trio of assistants -- Mick Lombardi, Carmen Bricillo, Bo Hardegree -- who went to Las Vegas with McDaniels.

The Patriots scored just seven points last week, tied for second-lowest of any team in Week 1.

A retired quarterback who didn't remain anonymous on the panel was likewise critical of the Patriots offensive coaching staff.

"I know you're defensive gurus -- fine. But you don't understand what it looks like and feels like for the quarterback," Matt Hasselbeck said in the discussion on ESPN. "The hardest thing for a quarterback on the road especially is third-and-6 or more so what did they do? They made it complicated."

Hasselbeck highlighted two plays -- one that led to Jones suffering a back injury, another that led to a strip sack of Jones -- in which the offense spent all of its pre-snap time trying to get set with proper protection. Hasselbeck then issued a finger wag and a directive to Matt Patricia and the rest of the offensive coaches.

"You did this to yourself, Patriots coaching staff," Hasselbeck said. "You did this to yourself. So stop trying to prove how smart you are. Simplify. This guy played -- he was the best rookie quarterback in the NFL last year, because he had training wheels on most of the time, and he did a lot. He played really well. There's nothing wrong with that. You don't have to prove how much you know. Make it simpler."

After the ESPN pregame show, Jones and the Patriots picked up a 17-14 win in Pittsburgh. Jones threw for 252 yards with one touchdown and one interception without getting sacked.

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