Mac Jones failed in New England because Bill Belichick was ‘stuck in his ways’: ex-Patriots star

Mac Jones failed in New England because Bill Belichick was ‘stuck in his ways’: ex-Patriots star

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Mac Jones did not succeed in New England, and former Patriots running back Damien Harris put the blame solely on Bill Belichick’s shoulders.

Harris, who played for the Patriots from 2019-22, appeared on “The Athletic Football Show” on Wednesday and said Jones’ failures were not his fault.

“What happened to Mac Jones in New England, was not because of Mac Jones,” Harris said, as covered by Sporting News.

Head coach Bill Belichick and Mac Jones walk off the field after a Patriots’ loss to the Saints in 2021. Getty Images

“What happened in New England to Mac Jones was because of the fact you took away an offensive coordinator who coached him to be a Pro-Bowler and almost coached us to winning our division with a rookie quarterback…

“Then you take Matt Patricia who’s coached defense his entire life. Joe Judge who’s been a special teams coach… and then you just throw them in there and say, ‘Hey, coach this kid up. He’s a first-round pick, but as long as you teach him what I say, everything gonna be fine.’”

Harris blamed Belichick’s stubbornness for Jones’ tenure with the Patriots coming to an end with a trade tot the Jaguars.

“Now Mac Jones is in Jacksonville… the breath of Mac Jones in New England — it came and went. It shouldn’t have [gone] the way that it went,” he continued.

“The only reason that it did was because Bill Belichick, being stuck in his ways, was very much so ‘As long as I am here. As long as I am, along with Robert Kraft, the top dog at this organization, no matter who, no matter where, what position, where they coach, whatever, we will have success.’

Former Patriots running back Damien Harris blamed Bill Belichick for Mac Jones failing in New England. AP

“I think that started kind of was this Cam Newton situation… everybody was like, ‘What the [expletive] is this? Why Cam Newton?’ Bill thought that he could make it work. It didn’t really work.”

The year after that, when Jones was a rookie, the Patriots made the playoffs, but then offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become the Raiders head coach and Belichick did not replace him with someone who had offensive pedigree.

“We drafted Mac. We had a hell of a year… went on to win seven straight. At that time we were kind of looking at ourselves like we might have a Super Bowl run here,” Harris said.

Head coach Bill Belichick talks with his son, Brian, who was the team’s scouting assistant at the time, before a game against the Browns in 2016. Diamond Images/Getty Images

“Then the next year after that you replace… Josh McDaniels with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge and then look at the year we had that year… now Mac Jones is all of a sudden gone. I think that everybody can look at what I just said. And ultimately, just watch it for what it was and kinda say that maybe Bill Belichick did not do right by Mac Jones.”

Harris has been a member of the Bills since last season.

Belichick and the Patriots parted ways after 24 seasons — including six Super Bowl championships — this offseason.

He is slated to appear on Omaha Productions’ “ManningCast” this season.

Ryan Glasspiegel

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