Mac Jones finally got the opportunity to play against one of his quarterback predecessors on Sunday night, when the New England Patriots welcomed in Tom Brady to Gillette Stadium for the first time since he left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Pats rookie performed admirably, but wasn’t able to give his team the highly coveted win. A 56-yard field goal attempt from Nick Folk clanked off the uprights in the final minute and gave the Buccaneers a 19-16 victory.
The disappointing result ended a crazy week for Jones, who was thrown into a media frenzy for much of the lead-up to the game to discuss Brady’s New England homecoming. However, it was interesting to observe how the rookie spoke about the seven-time Super Bowl champ prior to Sunday’s meeting.
Jones seemed to avoid saying Brady’s name in almost all of his media sessions, instead referring the the 44-year-old quarterback with words like “his,” “him” and “he.” However, the rookie claimed that wasn’t intentional.
“Not really,” Jones said Monday in a “Merloni & Fauria” WEEI interview when asked about not mentioning Brady by name this week. “They’re just questions about him and obviously I answered and said what I said, that he’s a great quarterback. He’s been a great player for a really long time and he plays the position really well.
“Yesterday, they won and we didn’t, and that’s the part that stings. But you just gotta take it for what it’s worth, and move on and keep working.”
.@christianfauria: It seemed like you made an effort to not mention Tom Brady's name last week. Is that true?
Mac: "Not really" pic.twitter.com/6XlgWMR2oV
— Merloni & Fauria (@MerloniFauria) October 4, 2021
It’s hard not to notice that Jones neglected to say Brady’s name again in his answer.
In fairness to the 23-year-old rookie, reporters often set him up this week to use pronouns to refer to the Buccaneers quarterback rather than his name. There’s likely nothing going on with Jones and Brady here, but it is interesting to think about the possibility that the Pats new signal caller has been purposeful in avoiding the New England legend’s name.
With the game between the Patriots and the Buccaneers in the books, Jones can return to a more normal media rush this week. New England will travel to Houston this upcoming Sunday to take on the 1-3 Texans.