Julian Edelman believes that Mac Jones has ‘lost his confidence’


“Once you lose your confidence in this league, it’s tough.”

Patriots quarterbck Mac Jones is pictured as he returns to the bench after failing to complete a first half third down conversion, forcing New England to punt. The New England Patriots hosted the Miami Dolphins in the regular season opening NFL football game at Gillette Stadium.
Mac Jones has been benched three times in 10 games this season. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Julian Edelman was one of many former Patriots stars who couldn’t mask their frustration online after Mac Jones doled out yet another costly interception last Sunday.

“That was bad,” Edelman posted on X after Jones’ 10th interception of the 2023 season wiped out a potential go-ahead touchdown for the Patriots in the fourth quarter of their 10-6 loss to the Colts in Germany.

The 2-8 Patriots have been hampered all season long by a sputtering offensive unit, with Jones’ lapses in execution and poor decision-making routinely dismantling New England’s drives at critical junctures of games.

Jones, whose status as New England’s QB1 remains up in the air during the bye week, has not been aided in his third NFL campaign thanks to a porous offensive line and a dearth of proven playmakers to throw to. 

But Edelman noted during his latest appearance on Fox Sports’ “The Herd” Thursday that Jones’ severe regression in 2023 falls on a lack of belief in himself to make the necessary throws and deliver when called upon.

“It’s just been tough for Mac to execute in high-pressure situations and it comes down to his confidence,” Edelman said. “He’s lost his confidence, and once you lose your confidence in this league, it’s tough. I remember there were a couple of times where, you drop a ball or something here or there, and you start thinking about it the next play.

“‘Easy play, oh this is going to be easy.’ And when you’re thinking about things, it’s not allowing you to play fast. It’s not allowing your subconscious to kick in, and instincts to play the game for you, and that’s what it’s been right now. He’s just lost his confidence. It sucks for him, but, you know, that’s what’s happened.”


It’s been tough sledding all season long for Jones, who has struggled to regain his form after earning Pro Bowl honors as a rookie in 2021.

But since Josh McDaniels left Foxborough in January 2022 for a failed stint as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jones has done little to show the promise he flashed in his first foray against NFL competition.

And even with the aforementioned issues plaguing New England’s offensive personnel beyond the QB play, Edelman doesn’t believe that Jones should be let off the hook.

“If you’re a guy, you’re a guy,” Edelman said. “I’m not gonna come out here and just bash on Мас. Yeah, it’s been terrible for the whole unit — one play it’s the offensive line, one play the receiver slips, one play the receiver drops the ball, there’s a bad throw and collectively they’re not doing well.

“But this is the National Football League. If you don’t win, the quarterback and the head coach get the blame. … This is a production business, ok? And everyone keeps on wanting to say, ‘Oh, he’s had three offensive coordinators.’ … He’s really only had two offensive coordinators. I had Billy O’Brien and Josh McDaniels. That’s the same scheme. There’s a couple of wrinkles here and there, but you’re fundamentally doing the same things.”