Mac Jones is beginning to develop a bit of a reputation around the league, and maybe not for all of the right reasons. Falcons veterans reported to Flowery Branch today for the start of training camp, and in the first media session, we got some juicy quotes from Calais Campbell on the Patriots’ signal caller.
Atlanta DL Calais Campbell, a 16-year vet: "Philip Rivers was a good trash talker, but he was never disrespectful, Mac Jones actually, he was kind of disrespectful. I’m like, ‘Hold on, man.’ (It was) just trash talk to the highest level. It was like, ‘You don’t trash talk me.’"
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) July 25, 2023
Campbell’s quote is in response to a question about a Patrick Mahomes statement from the Netflix docuseries ‘Quarterback’ on how being cordial with defenders sometimes benefits him in the long run when it comes time to take a hit. Campbell acknowledged this being true but went on a tangent.
The Ravens matched up with the Patriots in a Week 3 contest last season in which Baltimore won convincingly 37-26. Campbell is a 16-year veteran that is likely headed for the Hall of Fame, so when he speaks, people generally listen.
Campbell’s experience with Mac Jones wasn’t gravy, but the former Alabama quarterback has been known for his fiery attitude on the football field. I have heard stories of Jones on the Tide’s practice squad, before he took over the starting role, dicing up the first-team defense. Nick Saban blew his top; to which Jones replied something of the manner — “then stop it.”
Mac Jones might not come off as the Phillip Rivers quirky competitor because he doesn’t have the résumé, but I seriously doubt the Patriots quarterback is in any way malicious.
Context matters, and in this case, Jones was dealing with an absolute dumpster fire in New England. He didn’t have any weapons and had a defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, calling his offensive plays. He was set up for failure, so I assume his frustrations got the best of him.
I’m not saying Calais Campbell’s opinion isn’t valid. The Falcons veteran is among the most respected players across the entire league. I’m just providing another point of view; sometimes, things are said in the heat of battle that would never be said off the field.
These guys are all alphas and modern-day gladiators.
“If you want a friend, get a dog.”
Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire