Tight end Hunter Henry pulled aside Mac Jones near the end of the New England Patriots’ 47-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card round. Henry seems to have a way of teaching Jones and picking up the youngster when he’s down on himself, though Jones wouldn’t share whether that was what Henry was doing in that particular moment.
Jones was asked during a press conference to relay what he and Henry discussed in those closing moments of the game — and the season — with New England suffering a blowout loss in Jones’ playoff debut.
“I think that’s personal between him and I, but he obviously gave me great words of advice,” Jones said after the game. “He’s a guy that’s played quite some time in the NFL, and I’m really happy to have him. I’m glad to have him, hopefully, for a while. He’s a great player and he’s a great person, too. He means a lot to me. He’s like a big brother, just like a lot of guys on this team are to me.”
Jones was 24 of 38 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and struggled to get the offense off to the fast start that the Patriots so badly needed. He threw an interception on the team’s first drive in the first half — and then opened the second half with his second interception. It was exactly what Jones and the Patriots spent the week preparing to prevent.
“I wish I could have put a better performance out there so we could’ve pushed together through the playoffs, but that’s something that I’ve got to live with and it’ll motivate me for next year,” Jones said.
Henry isn’t the only Patriots veteran with an affinity for the rookie quarterback.
“My kids and I will be watching him for a long time to come,” special teams standout and captain Matthew Slater told reporter on Saturday. “I think the future is bright with this organization with that young man, not just with his play on the field but with the character that he possesses. He’s the type of player you hope to build around.”
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