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Bill Belichick Reveals How Mac Jones Has 'Earned A Lot Of Respect' So Far

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones against Arkansas.

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 26: Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to facing the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There is a while to go before Mac Jones ever sees the field in a game for the New England Patriots, but so far, the rookie from Alabama has handled his business.

Last week, a report from NFL Network's Mike Giardi praised Jones' "competitive edge" and the way the ball comes out of his hands during workouts. Patriots free agent wide receiver signing Kendrick Bourne also commended Jones for his "swagger."

This morning, New England head coach Bill Belichick spoke with reporters, with Jones' progress being one of the topics of discussion. While Belichick cautioned that his first-round QB has "a long way to go," he also said Jones has "earned respect" with his approach thus far.

"He's working hard. He puts in a lot of time," Belichick said

#Patriots HC Bill Belichick on the progress of rookie QB Mac Jones - @wbz#wbz

Via @Patriots@nflpic.twitter.com/o6LAIjoFeV

— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) June 4, 2021

">via Dan Roche of WBZ-TV. "Certainly giving his very best effort to do everything that we've asked him to do and do it the way we've asked him to do it, which is a great place to start. He's earned a lot of respect for that."

Cam Newton will be the Patriots' starter entering training camp, leaving Jones, veteran Brian Hoyer and third-year pro Jarrett Stidham to battle for backup reps. We don't expect Belichick to rush his rookie signal caller along.

However, if Jones keeps progressing at his early rate, it might be tough to keep him off the field for very long.