October 1, 2023


“Mac has all the time been a terrific competitor.”

Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones performed collectively for 2 seasons on the College of Alabama. (AP Photograph/Matt Rourke)

Sunday’s season-opening showdown between the Patriots and Eagles will see two former Alabama quarterbacks face off in Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones.

Each Hurts and Jones spent two seasons collectively in Tuscaloosa, with Jones third on the depth chart as a redshirt freshman in 2018 behind Tua Tagovailoa and Hurts.

Jones lastly made essentially the most of his alternative as a junior in 2020 after each Tagovailoa and Hurts (who transferred to Oklahoma in 2019) made the leap as much as the NFL ranks.

Because the Crimson Tide’s full-time starter, Jones threw for 41 touchdowns, accomplished 77.4 p.c of his go makes an attempt, and threw 4 interceptions for a 13-0 Alabama squad that went on to win a nationwide championship.

Since becoming a member of Tagovailoa and Hurts within the NFL ranks, Jones has gone via his justifiable share of ups and downs in New England. After incomes a Professional Bowl nod as a rookie in 2021, he regressed in Matt Patricia’s offense in 2022, tossing 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over 14 video games.

However even watching from afar, Hurts famous on Wednesday that Jones has all the time possessed qualities that might pave the best way for future success within the professional sport.

“Mac has all the time been a terrific competitor,” Hurts stated Wednesday. “Had a starvation for the sport and simply studying, all the time difficult himself. I’m wanting ahead to him doing large issues this yr.”

This isn’t the primary time Hurts has supplied up some reward for Jones and his mettle as an NFL quarterback.

Shortly after the Patriots chosen Jones with the fifteenth total decide within the 2020 NFL Draft, Hurts stated that his teammate’s poise and persistence whereas ready his activate the Crimson Tide’s depth chart was going to pay dividends on the subsequent stage.

“Mac Jones, he had the chance — I believe one of the simplest ways you may be taught is to look at,” Hurts advised WVTM 13 Birmingham again in June 2021. “Watch, be aware of these round you, form of be taught the lay of the land, if you’ll, and be taught that approach.

“Mac had a really distinctive school profession the place he needed to keep affected person, and it labored out for him. And I’m completely happy it did. He was capable of watch me, (and) Tua undergo that, get him some burn right here and there, and finally when it was his time, he took off with it. And now he has a terrific alternative for his future.”

The Patriots’ sign caller has an extended solution to go to catch as much as Hurts, who completed second in NFL MVP voting final season after scoring 35 complete touchdowns (22 passing, 13 dashing) and throwing simply six picks for the NFC champion Eagles.