The photograph and words that Mac Jones uses for motivation – AL.com

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In his locker at Gillette Stadium, where New England defeated the Carolina Panthers 20-10 in an NFL exhibition game on Friday night, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has a photograph from last season’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

The score of the game – 47-17 – is written on the photograph. Jones concluded his rookie season by completing 24-of-38 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.

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After his first action of the preseason on Friday, Jones was asked about the photograph.

“I’ve always been a big fan of having motivation stuff in your locker,” Jones said. “… That’s last year, but I think it’s motivation to just come in here and work every day.”

The former Alabama All-American also shared that he turns to two famous passages from the past for motivation, too.

“My dad, the two things that he’s always showed me is the poems ‘Man in the Arena’ and ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling,” Jones said, “so those are the two that are more important to me. …

“I do love the two poems a lot. That’s a big shoutout to my dad because he kind of gave me those when I was probably like 6 years old and kind of explained everything to me, and as I grew up, I continued to just enjoy that. Actually, the ‘If’ poem is in Wimbledon, so that’s where he learned about it, in the locker room at Wimbledon. It’s pretty cool.”

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“The Man in the Arena” is the popular name for the speech titled “Citizenship in a Republic” delivered by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in Paris on April 23, 1910.

The most famous passage of the speech reads: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Kipling wrote “If” in 1895, and it became a favorite throughout the British Empire as the famed stiff-upper lip self-discipline and stoicism set to verse.

The poem begins: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you …”

Two lines from the poem’s second stanza are engraved on the wall of the players’ entrance to Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same …”

The 15th selection of the 2021 NFL Draft, Jones made the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team, finished as the runner-up to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase for the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and played in the Pro Bowl last season, when he completed 352-of-521 passes for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The Patriots conclude their preseason schedule by visiting the Las Vegas Raiders at 7:15 p.m. CDT Friday. New England opens its regular season on Sept. 11 against the Miami Dolphins.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OUR NFL PAGE

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.




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