‘It hurts to watch’: Tedy Bruschi’s blunt commentary about Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, and the struggling Patriots

Morning Sports Update

Bruschi pinpointed one moment in particular that might offer insight into Belichick’s thoughts on Jones’s future.

Tedy Bruschi's thoughts on Mac Jones, Bill Belichick, and the struggling Patriots
Mac Jones during the Patriots’ loss to the Colts in Frankfurt, Germany. AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Tedy Bruschi on Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ current situation: With the Patriots continuing to struggle — now 2-8 heading into the bye week — the conversation around the state of the team and the future of its legendary coach has become increasingly difficult for former players.

Count Tedy Bruschi among the group of ex-Patriots working in media who are less than thrilled to confront Bill Belichick’s new reality.

“I’d rather not speak on it,” the former New England linebacker half-jokingly acknowledged during a “Get Up!” segment on Monday morning, less than 24 hours removed from the Patriots’ 10-6 loss to the Colts in Frankfurt, Germany.

“It hurts to watch. It hurts me to watch being a former Patriot,” Bruschi admitted. “As an analyst here, I’m just watching it continue to deteriorate, especially at the quarterback position where Mac Jones continues to make mistake after mistake.”

Bruschi tried to offer measured commentary, prefacing his critique of the third-year quarterback with a reminder about the wider talent issue on New England’s offense.

“He doesn’t have the support that he needs, of course, but sometimes your quarterback has to carry you, and that’s something that Mac can’t [do],” he said of Jones.

Bruschi cited Belichick’s decision to pull Jones for backup Bailey Zappe on the Patriots’ final drive of the game as a particularly telling moment.

“We’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks struggle, but then in the end they get a drive, and that’s all they really needed. And all of sudden, they win the game. Bill didn’t even give him that chance,” Bruschi said of Jones. “Bill had seen enough, saying, ‘Get out, I’m going to put Bailey Zappe in. Give him the two-minute drive and see if he can do it, because I know you can’t do it.’”

Assessing the current situation the Patriots are in, Bruschi unsurprisingly centered on the quarterback. In Jones, New England’s 2021 first-round pick, Bruschi doesn’t think he sees a long-term answer for the team.

“When you miss on the quarterback, and the quarterback is playing like [he] is, and the offense just isn’t producing, it affects the entire team,” Bruschi said, offering his perspective as a former linebacker. “I had the luxury of looking at quarterbacks in my career, like a Drew Bledsoe, and then Tom Brady comes in. You just get inspired by the quarterback position. That’s the sort of intangible that it is.

“To see Mac play this way, from the sideline as a defender, it’s like, ‘What are we doing? What more do I have to do?’”

Turning to Belichick, Bruschi — who helped the longtime coach win three Super Bowls in the 2000s — had to grapple with the reality of the Patriots’ current record.

“It’s painful for me to say it’s a hot seat,” Bruschi said of Belichick’s position. “Also, 2-8 is unacceptable. It’s just unacceptable. Bill knows that.”

A day earlier (in a previous ESPN appearance), Bruschi emphasized that he firmly doesn’t think Belichick is in any danger of being fired midseason.

“We are not the Las Vegas Raiders, and that is not Josh McDaniels,” Bruschi said during an “NFL Countdown” segment. “You let Bill finish this out, Mr. Kraft. Then when it comes to whatever draft pick you have at the end, have that meeting. Whatever you come up with, [whatever] your decision is — whether he moves on or not — have it then.

“That discussion is asinine,” he concluded.

The Patriots’ next game comes on Nov. 26 at MetLife Stadium against the Giants (another team with a 2-8 record).

Trivia: The last time the Patriots had a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft was 2008, when the team picked Jerod Mayo 10th overall. Who was the first quarterback selected in that year’s draft?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He came from an ACC school.

Scores and schedules:

The Patriots lost to the Colts 10-6 in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday. New England is now 2-8 heading into the bye week.

Tonight, the Celtics host the Knicks at 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow, the Bruins face the Sabres in Buffalo at 7 p.m.

More from Boston.com:

Bill Belichick on the possibility of a change at quarterback: Belichick discussed the quarterback situation in both his Monday morning press conference as well as his WEEI radio appearance.

On this day: In 1994, the Patriots rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Vikings in overtime, 26-20. Drew Bledsoe characterized the Patriots’ tale of two halves, completing just eight passes for 72 yards in the first 30 minutes only to rally with an astounding 37 completions for 354 yards (and three touchdowns) in the second half.

In total, Bledsoe attempted 70 passes in the game, an NFL record that — despite the passing game’s continued growth — stands to this day.

1994 Patriots Vikings Boston Globe Sports

Daily highlight: Laney Choboy helped Nebraska volleyball win the point with a wild chase-down into the stands to keep the rally going. The Huskers eventually got the win over Illinois.

Trivia answer: Matt Ryan


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