Before Tom Brady marched the Patriots in position for Adam Vinatieri’s battlefield goal against the Rams at the end of Super Bowl XXXVI, before anyone knew a goat was grazing inside him, the great John Madden in the CBS booth suggested that Bill Belichick should play. for overtime against Greatest Show on Turf.
There will never be another Tom Brady.
But understand this: Brady was in his second season starting not as advanced as Mac Jones is now.
“It may be blasphemous, but one that was not nearly for me what Mac Jones is right now,” NFL Network analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner told Serby Says, “just in terms of what they’re asking him. about doing. how they ask him to make plays, the amount of plays that they ask him to make.
“We played with Tom Brady in the Super Bowl that year and I think he threw 150 yards maybe . … I think he had one touchdown pass [in the Super Bowl] throughout the playoffs for the Super Bowl. So he was not asked to do near as much as Mac Jones does, in my opinion. And it should excite you.
“Now that does not mean that Mac will evolve as Tom Brady and be better than Tom Brady or anything, it’s just I think Mac really is ahead of his years in understanding how to play the position, and that we see and we see his team succeed because of that. “
Jones does not have the arm talent like Zach Wilson. And it does not matter, because he knows how to play the quarterback position.
“It’s always a relative term,” Warner said, “because a lot of people would say the same thing about me. If you looked at how far I could throw the ball, I would have been average. But what set me apart was – I’m still telling my son that today – I could go out there and throw a ball up to 45 yards the same way I could throw the ball at 10 or 15 yards. And then in a game you do not have to throw the ball 70 yards.But you need to have the ability to put everything you need on the ball to be able to make the big throws on the second level.
“Mac has shown me that he has the ability to make some of the big throws. I still want to see more.… I still want to be convinced that he can do these things from different platforms and do it on a consistent But there have been some throws that I did not know he could make, that I have seen him make when there are other guys in the league that I would have said very similar things about them coming out of college, and I’m still sitting here saying, ‘They still do not make the throws that I just think they can make’ or someone who comes out like, ‘I do not know if they can make that throw and they have not show me they can. ‘ Mac Jones has started to show me that there are some throws I was not sure he could make that he does. “
Wilson will have to rein in the ruthless Brett Favre in him when he returns from his knee injury Sunday in Houston.
“I think Zach is the opposite of Mac,” Warner said. “The arm talent will not be a problem for him. He will be able to make all those kinds of throws. But the problem is that he does not do the other things – he does not make layups, he does not see the field, he does not always know exactly , where his eyes should be. And then that’s what you get – you get a young guy or a quarterback who wants to do some acting for you and make you excited about their future, but there’s no connection in that. becomes the case for Zach: Can he get there? Can he learn to play the game and play the position and know where to put his eyes and how well he can do it?
“I believe there is a kind of relationship that you have to have as a quarterback. So it’s everything from you have to be able to make layups, and that means making the throws you have to make, making the readings, you have to do, and if you do it almost every time, you become a starting quarterback in the National Football League.And then it’s all up to Patrick Mahomeses that all these special throws, these crazy things, these things, like just one guy can do, somewhere in there, starters have a relationship from making layups to making the special plays, and that relationship must be good enough between all of these things to determine if you are a starting quarterback and how good a starting quarterback you could be.The guys at the bottom end who make the right plays, who make layups, I look at them a bit like an Andy Dalton-type player.He will succeed, he’s going to win, he will get you to the playoffs, he’s a starting quarterback in the National Football League, but he certainly does not have the other things, it’s probably as far as he can get you, he will need help from other people.
“Then you have Patrick Mahomeses who knows all the special things and he will win matches for you with the specialty and of course he is also really good at layups and that is why they have been in two Super Bowls. And all starting quarterbacks have to fall into that relationship somewhere, and what we’re trying to do when we decide who these guys are is that we say, ‘OK, what’s that number for you?’ And Zach Wilson has just shown us, ‘Oh, he’s really good at this, at the thesis, but he does not do nearly enough of the presentations.’ And so right now, when I see him, I say, ‘Well, right now, his ratio is not high enough to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League.’ Mac is because he makes most of the layups, he makes most of the good decisions and he makes some of the special throws, and that puts him in that category.I think there are some quarterbacks in the league who do not do enough where I look at them and say, “This guy should not be a starter.”
“And do not get me wrong, it does not mean that Zach has to sit on the bench, it simply means that he is not there yet, where I say, ‘This team can build around’ or, ‘This team can win because of Zach Wilson, ‘because he’s not doing enough things in that relationship to say he’s in that position yet. “
Warner does not believe in word ceilings for quarterbacks.
“I’ve seen really good college players come into the NFL, and five years in the NFL, they’re the same guy they were when they got there,” he said. “Then we’ve seen guys like Tom Brady who seem to get better every year. And that does not mean they can throw it anymore, it does not mean that their feet are faster, they just learn the game, and they are able to make more of the special throws.They are able to see the field and get the ball out of their hands.I do not know if you will be the guy who does not get better or the guy who can become astronomical better every single year and be amazing.
“What Mac Jones is doing right now is ahead of the game. And if Mac Jones does this for the rest of his career, he’s going to have a very successful NFL career. … I think he’s going to be a guy who goes a lot to the playoffs and it is not yet decided if he can become championship quarterback.I have seen enough if he does not get better at saying he will survive in this league for a long time.If he is able to continue to grow and get better, I would think that on the horizon you would say you have a quarterback who can compete for championships. “
ESPN NFL front office insider Mike Tannenbaum had to evaluate Jones at the Senior Bowl.
“I thought he was a young Matt Ryan,” Tannenbaum said. “He could do all the throws. His athleticism is underestimated. He is accurate, throws with great anticipation, incredibly smart, natural leader… and I think sometimes in the draft process that we rethink things, but he was a really good player on a really Good matter. [Alabama] team. He has an impeccable character and he will continue to be a really good pro. “
Brady’s regular season 2001 ended with 18 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a completion percentage of 63.9. Jones has 14 TDs, eight INTs and a completion rate of 70.2. Brady was, of course, a choice in the sixth round. Jones was the 15th overall pick.
“It’s a little bit different because the expectations as a sixth-rounder were obviously different,” Tannenbaum said. “What caught my eye at Brady was Coach Belichick’s his first year  kept four quarterbacks on the active list, which is like really rare. So in honor of Bill, it was not only that he drafted him, but I think something of an understated story about Tom Brady and the Patriots was the fact that his rookie year was kept on the active list.
“I think Mac Jones is pushing the ball more down the field than Tom Brady clearly did early in his career.”
Should Jones have gone higher than 15? Remember the 49ers were arguing between him and Trey Lance.
“As I said in my draft coverage of ESPN, he was the guy that I took an overall third place,” Tannenbaum said.
The Jets picked Wilson with the second overall.
“I was fascinated by his upside,” Tannenbaum said, “but I could understand why a team would take Mac Jones before him.”
What would the former Jets GM have done at No. 2?
“I would have drilled further down to make sure I had all the information,” Tannenbaum said. “It was really close to me between Zach Wilson and Mac Jones. It was a kind of coin toss. I had the benefit of spending a week with Mac Jones and I saw on my own how good he was.
“I thought he would be a more athletic Matt Ryan.”
He looks like a Bill Belichick quarterback in so many ways. He speaks like a Bill Belichick quarterback. Incredibly, you can not rule out Mac Jones taking Belichick to a dream match in the Super Bowl against Tom Brady.