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Patriots rookie sensation Marcus Jones see more time on offense? Bill Belichick provides a clue



Marcus Jones has proven to be an invaluable asset and explosive playmaker for the Patriots no matter if he’s lined up on defense, offense, or special teams.

Thus far, the rookie cornerback has scored in all three phases of the game, adding a pick-six off Joe Burrow to his resume during Saturday’s 22-18 loss to the Bengals.

While he’s been playing a majority of snaps on defense, is it possible for Jones to somehow be more involved with the offense, which could really use more of that explosiveness in the final two games?

During a video call with reporters Monday, Bill Belichick said that while it was impossible for Jones to be involved in the whole receiver playbook, the Patriots do want to try to incorporate him a little more on that side of the ball.

Given the stakes, with the Patriots needing to win out to secure a playoff berth, seeing more of Jones as a receiver would help.

But as Belichick explained, it’s just too difficult to ratchet up his offensive snaps too much given his other responsibilities.

“When you have situation like that, where you have a specialty player playing one side of the ball or another, at this point in time, mid season, where the person doesn’t have a full background on that side of the ball, whether that’s Troy (Brown) or Julian (Edelman) playing defense, or Mike Vrabel playing tight end, or Marcus playing his role, I think to try and conceptually teach them the system, that’s not something we have done, or would ever do,” the Patriots head coach said. “There are certainly limitations on how far those players, Marcus in this case, would be able to go. But, can we use him a little more? Can we add on to what he’s done? Sure.

“I don’t think he’ll ever have the full receiver playbook, if you will, at this point in time, definitely not with his other responsibilities as well on defense and the kicking game.”

Against the Bengals, Jones had 75 snaps on defense, three on offense, and nine on special teams.

During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick said the Patriots have to “pick our spots” with respect to getting Jones in on offense, but defense was certainly the priority. The Patriots were missing starter Jalen Mills and rookie Jack Jones at corner, leaving Marcus Jones with a full load on defense.

His pick-six Saturday — returning the ball 69 yards — sparked the Patriots furious comeback from 22-0.

“That was a great run by Marcus,” said Belichick. “I’m not sure how many players we have that could have made that run.”

On the day, along with the interception, Jones also had a fumble recovery, led the team with 14 tackles, and pulled in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Mac Jones.

The Patriots, sitting at 7-8, controlling their own destiny with respect to the playoffs. Seeing more of Marcus, even for just a few more offensive snaps, would certainly help the cause.



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