Especially in the world of American sports, we now live in a "debate-me'' society in which everybody with a social media account is a columnist and in which every issue becomes a pick-a-side argument.
So it is with the this awful 2023 season for the New England Patriots. The team is 2-8, putting it among the very worst NFL programs. There are rumors that legendary coach Bill Belichick could be done here and there are rumors that one-time Pro Bowl quarterback Mac Jones could be done here as well.
And who is to blame for it all? In what we will argue is a one-sided twist toward an answer to that, According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer - undeniably plugged into the NFL and into the Patriots - has taken a side.
"There is concern,'' Breer said of Jones, "that now he has the 'yips.''
We'll buy that. The "yips.'' A sort of gun-shyness. An inability to use motor function to "just play'' and succeed. A decimation of self-confidence in the head that impacts the body. But ...
𝗥𝗘𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧: The #Patriots are concerned that Mac Jones' feet are such a mess that he now has the "𝗬𝗶𝗽𝘀", per @AlbertBreer— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 18, 2023
Breer added: "They were sold a smart, efficient game managing quarterback and (instead) they're getting a guy that makes a lot mistakes out there that… https://t.co/eyeyypo798 pic.twitter.com/QGNb8PsDMw
Breer takes another step beyond the "yips'' assertion. He place blame. And he doesn't place in on Belichick and the coaching staff that opted to make the Alabama star Jones the team's first-round pick, opted to make him a rookie starter, opted to hire the coordinators and coaches charged with his development.
The Patriots, Breer states Breer said in an appearance on FS1's The Herd, "were sold a smart, efficient, game-managing quarterback and they're getting a guy that makes a lot mistakes out there that doesn't do the smart thing that often,"
Whoa. Wait a minute. "They were sold''? Meaning somebody "misled'' the Patriots into drafting some sort of "damaged goods''?
Nope. That's now how draft-and-develop works. The Patriots weren't "sold'' anything. They "bought.'' They scouted, researched, worked out and selected Mac Jones. He's been under the Patriots' tutelage for three years and has regressed so dramatically that there are not only calls to trade him next year but to cut him now. (See Gronkowski, Rob.)
"Debate-me'' society insists that we choose which side to blame. Is Mac Jones' failure his fault? Or is Mac Jones' failure his fault?
The right and fair answer when it comes to blame in these cases, almost always? "Yes.''