FOXBOROUGH — Mac Jones first impressed Joe Judge last summer when Judge brought the Giants to Gillette Stadium for joint practices.
Those workouts were some of Jones’s best efforts of training camp, and with incumbent Patriots starter Cam Newton out because of COVID protocol violations, it’s when the rookie distanced himself in the quarterback competition.
“I think the thing that stuck out about him last year to me was his presence and how he competed; those are the two big things right there that I really took away,” Judge said Monday. “When you walk away and say, ‘They got this young guy, he’s going to be all right.’ ‘’
Fast-forward a season and Judge is now working with Jones daily as New England’s offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach.
“What stands out every day to me, this guy comes out, he is very competitive every day,” said Judge. “He really competes on a daily basis, very focused, very goal-oriented. He understands the importance of the position he plays. But he keeps driving to improve every day. So that’s going to remain constant, that’s a good sign.”
Judge was asked about finding ways to challenge players and keep them motivated on a daily basis. He said it’s a two-way street.
“We’re always looking to challenge the players,” he said. “I think it’s important to keep in the scope of what you’re working on that day. Instead of trying to come out and just, ‘What magic trick can I pull out of my hat?’
“You’re not going to go up there and surprise the players. It’s just, what are we working on today? How can we help these guys move forward with it?
“I’ve been very privileged with guys like Matt Slater. Very, very sharp at his craft, really at the top of the game. And really always challenging you and making you a better coach. That’s one thing I’ve really found work with guys like that, guys like Mac is they make you a better coach, because they challenge you to how you see it.
“I think the biggest thing with anybody in a signal call or position, whether center, the quarterback, the safety, the middle lineman, the [punt protector], whoever it may be, you’ve got to find out how they see the game, and that doesn’t happen overnight.”
At least one current Patriot tuned in to watch Richard Seymour’s Hall of Fame speech this month.
“I loved it,” said defensive tackle Christian Barmore. “When he talked about Coach Bill, the Patriot organization, I loved everything he said. It was a blessing to hear it.”
Barmore has not been shy with his love for Seymour’s game, calling the three-time Super Bowl champion “one of the best ever.”
Barmore said he enjoys watching film of Seymour and Kansas City’s Chris Jones because of their size and length at the position.
“I learned a lot from him,” Barmore said. “I’m still learning to this day. I’m always going to learn from that man. He’s real good.”
He saw it coming
Jones landed 85th in the NFL’s Top 100 players of 2022, a list voted on by current players. Offensive tackle Trent Brown, who was one of the first players to note Jones’s potential as a rookie, joked, “I might have a future in scouting.” … There are no hard feelings between Barmore and center David Andrews after their mini fight that got them both kicked out of practice last week. Said Barmore, “You know how football is. We’re buddies. Football is a real sport. That’s my guy.”
Captain earns salute
The Patriots will hold a retirement ceremony for running back James White Tuesday. Those scheduled to speak on behalf of the longtime captain and hero of the Super Bowl LI win over the Falcons are Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft … The Patriots will need to make decisions on at least two players Tuesday to get their roster to 85.