What Patriots QB Bailey Zappe mentioned about changing Mac Jones, elevated reps in apply


“You’ve got at all times gotta be prepared, it doesn’t matter what.”

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 08: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots attempts a pass during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Bailey Zappe has taken over for Mac Jones in every of the final two video games. Winslow Townson/Getty Photos
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Very similar to the Patriots’ dysfunctional offense, Bailey Zappe has discovered himself caught in the identical, irritating script during the last two weeks.

For 2 straight weeks, Mac Jones and the Patriots’ offense has imploded in grand trend, prompting Invoice Belichick to yank his QB1 off the sphere after relinquishing six turnovers over six quarters in opposition to the Cowboys and Saints.

Each instances, Zappe has been tasked with attempting to salvage any silver linings out of a Patriots offense that has orchestrated one trek to the pink zone since Week 2 — and has solely recorded one offensive landing during the last 10 quarters of play.

It’s an unenviable process, given each the state of New England’s roster and the insurmountable deficits that Jones and Co. have dug for the crew’s backup QB.

In opposition to Dallas, Zappe earned the nod with 3:04 left within the third quarter — with New England already trailing, 31-3.

Throughout Sunday’s blowout loss in opposition to the Saints? Zappe stepped onto the Gillette Stadium gridiron with 13:03 to go in regulation — and the Patriots mired in a 31-0 gap. 

With New England’s season in a tailspin and a once-rudderless offense now floundering via 5 weeks, is it time to offer Zappe an earlier run in Week 6 in opposition to the Raiders?

“I imply, being in my place, quantity two proper now, you’ve at all times gotta be prepared, it doesn’t matter what,” Zappe mentioned postgame after New England’s 34-0 loss to the Saints. “I imply, it may very well be the primary play of the sport, it may very well be the final play of the sport. So I’m at all times prepared and I’m the [No. 2], in order that’s my mindset.”

Based mostly on Invoice Belichick’s postgame feedback, it seems as if Jones will as soon as once more get the nod subsequent Sunday when New England heads to Las Vegas to tackle the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.

However after one more dreadful begin for Jones and New England’s offense, the case may very well be made that New England’s QB1 must function with a a lot shorter leash shifting ahead.

“Yeah, undoubtedly not a super scenario for anyone,” Jones mentioned of his message to Zappe earlier than handing him the reins on offense. “As an offense, the purpose is to play higher and put up factors. So all of us have to try this and we’ve bought to apply that means and do issues otherwise and work out the right way to put up factors.”

Regardless of Belichick and New England’s obvious dedication to Jones because the crew’s starter, the writing has been on the wall that the third-year QB’s once-established spot on the high of the depth chart may be on shaky floor at this stage of the season.

Even earlier than Sunday’s catastrophe performed out at Foxborough, NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier that morning that Zappe was receiving extra apply reps going into Week 5 in opposition to New Orleans.

“I imply, final week is final week,” Zappe mentioned when requested if he obtained extra apply reps. “We’re shifting on to this week. Let’s see how this week goes.

“ Y’all know nearly as good as I do,” Zappe added when requested if his apply reps will ramp up even additional going into Week 6. “Discover out Wednesday.”

Granted, even with Jones’s struggles, New England’s offense hasn’t essentially obtained a jolt as soon as Zappe has taken the reins.

After taking up in opposition to Dallas, Zappe accomplished simply 4 of his 9 throws for 57 yards, posting a 65.5 QB score. On Sunday in opposition to the Saints, solely three of Zappe’s 9 throws had been accomplished for 22 yards, with the second-year sign caller additionally lacking on a number of deep throws down the sphere.

“I imply, it may very well be a timing factor,” Zappe mentioned of his overthrows. “Like I mentioned, it’s as much as me now to get with these guys and get additional reps. Get with these guys, like, [Kendrick Bourne] on the cross, determining the best way he likes to run it.

“I may do a greater job placing the ball on the market, letting him catch and run with [it]. That’s all my fault. I gotta get higher. I gotta make the throw. Possibly that comes right down to getting these guys after apply or earlier than apply this week.”

Sure, Zappe maybe isn’t getting knocked for momentum-shifting interceptions or fumbles like Jones.

However for all the chants of “Zap-pe!” radiating from the Gillette Stadium seats on Sunday, it stays to be seen if New England even has the personnel in place to revive that impotent offense this season.

“I imply, that’s as much as the coaches to determine,” Zappe mentioned of the explanations behind New England’s offensive woes. “I’m nervous about my job, and that’s to make throws and I missed two immediately that might have been actually huge performs. So like I mentioned beforehand, I’m going to attempt to get with these guys and get every part down, timing-wise.”