But head coach Bill Belichick offered only a lukewarm endorsement of Jones after Recent England finished below .500 and missed the postseason for the second time in three years, and he’s never hidden his adoration for Rodgers.
When the Patriots played at Lambeau Field in October, Belichick sought out Rodgers to speak with him pregame, then raved in regards to the 39-year-old signal-caller in his postgame news conference.
“I’d say ultimately, Rodgers is just too good,” Belichick said after the Packers won 27-24 in time beyond regulation. “He made some throws that only Rodgers could make. We had pretty good coverage on a few of those, and he’s just too smart, too good, too accurate, and ultimately, he got us. We just couldn’t quite do enough in the opposite areas to quite offset it. … He’s just an awesome, great player, and he made some great plays.”
Rodgers is one in all the best quarterbacks of all time and was the NFL’s Most Helpful Player in 2020 and 2021, but his numbers sharply declined this season. His 91.1 passer rating and 39.3 QBR each were the worst of his profession, and he threw nearly as many interceptions (12) as he had within the previous three seasons combined (13). The 12 picks were his most since 2008, his first season as a starter. After three straight 13-win seasons, Green Bay went 8-9 and missed the playoffs.
Jones’ numbers were even worse after the Patriots paired him with an ineffective offensive coaching staff led by Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Recent England already has admitted failure on that front, announcing plans to hire an actual offensive coordinator ahead of the 2023 campaign. Belichick interviewed five candidates last week, including former Patriots OC Bill O’Brien.
The Patriots could have faith that their recent coordinator can rekindle the promise Jones showed as a rookie. But with Belichick declining to publicly commit to Jones, an offseason QB shakeup stays possible.
As of Sunday, DraftKings Sportsbook gave the Patriots the fifth-best odds of landing Rodgers this offseason, trailing the Packers, Raiders, Jets and 49ers.
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