This time last year, Mac Jones approached his first training camp as a first-round draft pick looking to earn the Patriots' starting quarterback role. Entering 2022, Jones addresses Year 2 looking to improve himself in every facet possible having secured his position.
Expounding on one of the more popular observations from the Patriots' offseason program, Jones told Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston that becoming more disciplined with his diet was a major focus for him this offseason.
"I think it's important to assess everything and that was one of the things I want to improve. I made significant strides," Jones said last week. "Fixing my body, feeling comfortable, feeling healthier and better. At the end of the day, you're still a human and you want to eat what you want to eat, but you have to be disciplined the best you can."
A leaner frame wasn't the only noticeable thing about Jones this spring. The 23-year-old took it upon himself to become a more vocal presence on the field and his teammates took notice, noting Jones' leadership qualities have gone to "another level" this offseason. Jones furthered his efforts by getting together with Patriots pass-catchers during their free time in order to better their rapport.
Jones is right to be more confident going into his second season following a successful rookie campaign. Despite the early struggles out of the gate, Jones helped lead the Patriots to a 10-7 record, which amounted to a wild-card berth in 2021. Starting all 17 games, Jones ended the year with 3,801 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and his 67.6 completion percentage on the season was the second-highest all-time by a rookie. Jones earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after some AFC QBs opted out of the all-star game.
While Jones' objectives this offseason have been well-known since February, the Patriots QB is beginning to see the effects of his offseason work with training camp fast approaching. Ensuring his physical and mental bearings are in good form ahead of time makes Jones well prepared for an important summer that includes acclimating to life without former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
"I think it all goes back into just trying to become a better player and person," Jones said. "That was my goal this offseason. I feel better, I feel confident and that's what's important. I'm just going to try and go in there and do my thing and lead everybody and help us come together as a unit. So, that's kind of what it's all about. The offseason is a great time to sit back, relax a little bit, but also try and make strides in where you want to make strides. I feel like I've done that."
Veteran Patriots are due to report to training camp on July 26.