In his 15 years as an NFL defensive lineman, Calais Campbell has encountered a wide array of quarterbacks on the field.
However, one player has stood out to him due to his penchant for provocative trash talk and the desire to be hit harder – New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones.
Campbell, now with the Atlanta Falcons, expressed his concerns to reporters this week about Jones’ behavior on the field, which he described as “disrespectful.”
The issue of defenders taking it easy on “nice” quarterbacks was initially hinted at by Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes in the Netflix series “Quarterback.” Campbell supported Mahomes’ observations, affirming that there is a tendency among defensive linemen to be more lenient with friendlier quarterbacks.
But Campbell emphasized that Jones is an exception to this unwritten rule, as the young signal-caller’s trash talk crosses the line of respect.
While reminiscing about his encounters with other quarterbacks known for their on-field chatter, Campbell drew a comparison with former Chargers QB Philip Rivers, who was a skilled trash talker but managed to maintain a level of respect in his banter.
However, he asserted that Jones’ trash talk reaches an unprecedented level, leaving him feeling a sense of disrespect during their interactions.
“(Longtime Chargers QB) Philip Rivers was a good trash talker,” Campbell explained, “but he was never disrespectful. Mac Jones actually, he was kind of disrespectful. I’m like, ‘Hold on, man.’ (It was) just trash talk to the highest level.”
This isn’t the first time that Jones has been under scrutiny for his conduct on the field. In 2022, during moments of frustration on the sidelines amid offensive struggles, he garnered criticism from team legend Vince Wilfork, who accused him of “throwing a fit and a temper tantrum.”
Even Head Coach Bill Belichick was reportedly displeased with Jones’ response to the team’s struggles last season.
Whether true or not, Jones has also developed the reputation of being a dirty player…
Video – Reminder that some NFL players believe that Mac Jones is a dirty player – 4 different incidents from his two-year career.pic.twitter.com/LFDUugodvA
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 26, 2023
In contrast, Campbell highlighted some positive examples of quarterbacks who interacted with defensive linemen in a more amicable manner.
He pointed out former Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck as a particularly friendly quarterback, and he also praised Mahomes and New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers for their sportsmanship and respectful approach on the field.
In fairness to Jones, the football field is no place to make friends.. He’s also been known for his fiery competitiveness which has earned him the nickname “McEnroe.”
His type of competitiveness is exactly what you want out of your quarterback.
What are your feelings on Mac?