Damien Harris Explains What Makes Mac Jones a ‘Contagious’ Leader Originally Appeared on NBC Sports Boston
In retrospect, it is quite notable that Mack Jones won the Patriots’ starting quarterback job as a rookie over popular veteran Cam Newton and himself entered Year 2 as a New England franchise QB.
But Damien Harris isn’t surprised.
Harris, who was Jones’ teammate in Alabama during the 2018 season, knows the 23-year-old quarterback better than probably anyone on the Patriots roster. And he understands the aspects of Jones’ personality that have helped the young QB win down the New England locker room in short order.
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“Mack is just an infectious person that everyone is attracted to,” Harris told reporters Friday at Patriots training camp. “He’s a great leader, he’s a great football player, he’s an incredibly hard worker and he’s an even better friend.
“So, whenever you take all those characteristics and you put them in a person, it’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to him, and why so many people want to be around him and his want to follow.”
We’ve heard similar comments from the Patriots veterans: Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne recently said that Jones’ lead is “on another level”, noting that Jones “gets along really well with all the players.” Is.” Jones also respects tight end Joanu Smith, who pointed out that the second-year QB is “one of the most goofy guys” off the field, but can “flip that switch” to leave “the dog in him”.
Jones has a lot on his plate in his second NFL season. He hasn’t had an offensive coordinator since the exit of Josh McDaniels and can have many voices in his ear, from senior football advisor Matt Patricia to quarterback coach Joe Judge to head coach Bill Belichick.
But if you consider that leadership is one of the most important characteristics in a franchise quarterback, it appears Jones has it in spades.
“This is a guy who comes in every day just trying to be his best and make everyone better,” Harris said, “so it’s all too easy to grow up to that kind of guy.”