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Bill Belichick ignores questions about Mac Jones’ controversial tackle, notion that he’s a dirty player

Word is starting to spread that Mac Jones is a dirty player, but his head coach doesn’t think Jones is dirty.

It’s been a conversation since he entered the NFL last year, but the talk reignited after his low block on Eli Apple on Christmas Eve that many think was not only egregious, but pointless.

Jones dove at the knees of Apple, who was several yards behind his teammate returning a fumble.

However, when asked if he believed Jones is a dirty player, head coach Bill Belichick took a different route.

“I’m not going to sit up here and comment about … We could go through the rest of our roster and ask the same questions,” Belichick answered. “I’m not going to get into any of that …

“Right now my focus is on the Miami Dolphins. It’s not on some other game, some other play, some other year, what somebody else said or didn’t say,” Belichick said. “I don’t think about those things.”

Jones was fined over $11,000 for the hit, which he called “just part of the game.”

Mac Jones of the New England Patriots looks downfield during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium Dec. 24, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass.


“I went down in front of him to kind of get in the way to stop him from slowing down Tyquan [Thornton], who obviously could make the tackle there. So just kind of went down in front of him, trying to stop a fast guy from getting to another fast guy. It’s a split-second decision, and there’s a lot that goes into it,” he said Monday.

“You’re out there trying to compete, it’s a physical game. So just trying to help the team win. I have all the respect for Eli and the Bengals. They played a great game. So there’s no hard feelings and definitely no intention to hurt anybody on that play.”

Mac Jones of the New England Patriots after losing to the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium Dec. 18, 2022, in Las Vegas.

New England will need a win this week over the Dolphins, who have lost four straight, before closing out the regular season with a game against the 12-3 Buffalo Bills. 

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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