Bill Belichick answered questions about the Miami Dolphins tampering charges as only he can.

It is a new era for the New England Patriots, after the AFC East was dominated by the team for the better part of two decades with quarterback Tom Brady at the helm.

Losing a player like Brady would spell certain disaster for most teams, but quarterback Mac Jones has done a great job in keeping the team afloat in Brady’s absence.

In his first NFL season last year, Jones helped lead the team back to the playoffs while making the Pro Bowl. That came after the organization missed the postseason in the 2020-21 NFL season, their first year without Brady.

The Patriots will look to replicate this regular season success for the upcoming 2022-23 NFL season. And if head coach Bill Belichick‘s latest comments on Jones are any indication, they may even take a drastic jump next year.

Belichick discussed the improvement of his young quarterback this offseason Tuesday morning before the team’s first official practice of training camp, saying Jones has shown “tremendous strides” this offseason.

“He did a great job last year, but he’s starting from a much, much higher point this year from where he started last year. His offseason work has been significant, and I think everyone recognizes how well he prepares and how much further along he was than a year ago.”

Jones is a little Brady-esque in that he is not the most mobile quarterback, but he has some very clear strengths to his game on the field, particularly accuracy. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes last season, throwing for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. And Belichick said he plans to take advantage of Jones’ strengths.

“We have a much better feel for what he can do, what his strengths are, and how to try to play into those. He’s self-aware, too. He knows what he does well. We want to try to feature those.”

Belichick has been excellent at hiding weaknesses in his players’ game while highlighting their strengths over his career.

Doing so with Jones will only help his progression as a quarterback, and if he can take the next step in his career next season, the Patriots can be among the top teams in the AFC next year.

[ESPN]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.