Bill Belichick was asked about JC Jackson and Jack Jones after the Patriots’ loss to the Commanders
The Patriots have hit rock bottom, and even the team owners seem to be noticing
Patriots cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino said Tuesday he is not concerned about images posted on social media that appear to be appearing Jack Jones wore a towel around his neck and sat on the bench while other defensive players stood on the sidelines during Sunday’s game against Washington.
“Maybe you know, or maybe you don’t know, I’m in the box so I didn’t really see that,” Pellegrino said. “You could ask Jack about that, but I would say that would be an outlier.
“I’ve never really seen Jack on the bench when the defense was in charge. It must have been something that came up for a while, but I’m not going to talk about it. He can talk about it. I wouldn’t blow it out of proportion.
“It’s probably one thing that happened. If it were something consistent, would I be concerned? Yes. But it’s not consistent, so I wouldn’t really hang my hat on that. That’s not the man I know.”
Jones and fellow cornerback J.C. Jackson were not in the starting lineup Sunday, but coach Bill Belichick told reporters after the game that the players were not on the bench, and he said they both played.
Jackson played 53 snaps, one more than he played the week before in Miami. However, it was fewer than the 67 snaps he played against Las Vegas and the 64 he played against Buffalo. Jackson’s season-low for snaps is 36 against New Orleans, which was his first game back with the Patriots after being acquired from the Chargers in a trade.
Jones played 30 snaps against the Commanders, his lowest total of the season. He played 45 against Miami and 36 against Buffalo after returning from injured reserve.
“Things happen,” Pellegrino said. “I just put the guys out there that I thought were ready at the time. Everyone knows what they have to do to play. I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not trying to create a story; I trust all my guys.
“They all went in and played, right? I’ve said this since, I think, week 1. If they’re at the game, it means they’re ready, they’re prepared, and they’re ready to get into the game. I have confidence in all my guys to go out there and execute the game plan and do a great job, so I really just did what I felt was best at the time.
Pellegrino added that Shaun Wade, who started the game at cornerback along with Jonathan Jones, had a great week of practice and deserved the opportunity to start.
Where was Thornton?
Wide receiver Tyquan Thornton played twelve snaps on Sunday and did not play in the second half. He has three catches for 15 yards in three games this season.
Why was it so difficult for the 2022 second-round pick to get on the field when it seems like his speed would be a key asset to the offense?
Injuries played a role, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said. Thornton has started both seasons with the Patriots on injured reserve. He missed the first five games of this season due to a shoulder injury.
“He hasn’t played much football due to injury,” O’Brien said. “And so if you don’t play a lot of football, it’s difficult.
‘He has to keep working, and he will. He’s a great guy, he works very, very hard. He just hasn’t had many opportunities. I’m not making excuses for him, I’m just telling you. He hasn’t been on the field much.”
Receivers coach Ross Douglas said Thornton needs consistency to get more opportunities.
“He just has to stay consistent in everything he does, from his releases, from his route at the top of the route to catching the ball,” Douglas said. “He just needs to continue to work on his whole game, and that’s going to come with reps, that’s going to come with great workouts, that’s going to come with getting in the weight room.”
Drop the ball
Sunday’s game was just the latest example of how missed passes have stung the Patriots in key moments this season.
After extending the team’s final drive with a catch on fourth-and-4, JuJu Smith-Schuster let the Patriots’ final pass of the game bounce off his hands and into Washington’s. JArtavius Martin.
Jalen Reagor also had a drop on a deep ball that would have put the Patriots down by three in the red zone near the end of the third quarter.
Douglas and wide receivers coach Troy BrowN both said the coaching staff can do more to minimize the drops.
“Obviously I coach the receivers, so I’ll take the blame for that,” Brown said. ‘That’s up to me. I will do my best to prepare them and play better situational football.”
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