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Patriots players caught off guard by Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe QB carousel: ‘An ugly situation’

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Bill Belichick has earned credibility in almost every football situation with his impeccable resume of six Super Bowl championships as head coach, the most ever. He also had the opportunity to add another big moment to his long list of Monday night CVS football accomplishments against the Chicago Bears, as a Patriots victory would have broken the tie between Belichick and Pro Football Hall of Famer George Halas for the second most wins. as an NFL head coach, including playoffs.

However, Belichick’s landmark night against a team founded, owned and coached by Halas went awry, 33-14, in large part due to the team shuffling their quarterbacks between 2021 first-round pick Mack Jones and Bailey Zappe, fourth round pick in 2022. Jones started the game, but Zappe replaced him early in the second quarter after Jones set up an interception after consecutive hitting stopped after just three games. The Loyal Patriots started “Zappe! Zappe!” chanted before intercepting Jones, and Belichick seemed to be listening. The change of quarterbacks in the team’s second game in the second quarter initially confused the rest of the team.

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Jacobi Meyers, the team’s leader in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns, said he was “shocked” by a sharp turn from Jones in the first half.

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“I would say it’s a shock, but we don’t have time to pay too much attention to this,” Meyers. said, via Mass Live. “By the time we figured it out, the bullets are already flying. You have to go there and keep playing.”

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When asked about how the Patriot crowd seemed to encourage Belichick to take Jones out of the game, Meyers reacted strongly, deeming the whole ordeal an “ugly situation”.

“You hate it when one of your brothers gets treated like that,” Meyers said of the chants and Jones’ replacement. “Do you want to see him [Jones] to do well. You want everyone to succeed, including Zappe, but if you get bogged down in it, you don’t really have time to really focus on the decisions you make. It’s hard for a man to see someone [Jones] who works so hard to receive such treatment. After all, we are all trying to feed our families. We should go there and play with whoever is throwing him.”

Jones, the 15th pick in the 2021 draft, got a start after missing the last three weeks with an ankle injury. discs, the first two threes are outs. His last throw of the night resulted in an interception and Belichick then put in Zappa, who completed 72.9% of his passes for 596 yards with four touchdowns and only one interception in New England’s previous three games.

“Not. We didn’t know,” the Patriots run back. Ramondra Stevenson said through MassLivewhen asked about what he knew about the quarterback change, echoing Meyers’ shock and confusion.

Belichick said he kept his quarterbacks up to date with his game plan to use both of them, but even Zappe wasn’t sure how that plan would work out Monday night.

“I told the quarterbacks we were going to play both of them, which we did,” Belichick said. said after the game, when asked if everyone was in the dark about his quarterback rotation. “It’s not what it was, but you can write whatever you want. It’s not what it was.”

Zappe noted that there was a layer of ignorance among New England quarterbacks, saying that he found out that Jones was going to start before the game, “around the same time you did it all.”

“You do mental reps whenever you’re out of shape,” Zappe said. said when asked if he felt ready for the multi-quarterback plan in practice before the game. “This is another way you can get ready for the week. It’s not all exercise. So when you’re not standing behind the quarterbacks and doing mental reps, that’s another way you can practice throughout the week.”

Belichick explained that Jones’ ankle injury “was a factor” in the original plan to field both quarterbacks for this game, softening the idea that Jones, who was the runner-up for last season’s Offensive Player of the Year, was right on the bench.

“Coach Belichick was very good at communicating,” Jones said. said. “I knew what the plan was and time is time, but we were on the same wavelength and there were no hard feelings or anything. I would like to play better while I was there, but I hope I will have a chance to do it in practice and how to earn it, and then apply it in the game.

Zappe fired up, throwing his first four passes for 97 yards and his first two throws, including a 30-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jacobi Meyers. Stevenson focused on Zappa’s second drive, gaining four yards. He cooled off in the remainder of the game, throwing 10 of his last 18 shots for 88 yards, throwing three passes, a lost fumble and two interceptions.

Belichick said he was going to get Jones back in the game, but due to an uneven scoreboard, he pulled it out after the Bears went 23 points unanswered.

“Obviously a bad game tonight, we were badly coached and outplayed,” Belichick said in his opening statement after the game. “We didn’t do anything well enough in the game to win or deserve to win. Obviously we have a lot of work to do here … it’s not one thing, we just have to work better together, just like that. “

After Belichick chose not to announce his starting roster at his post-game press conference, Belichick has a lot of work to do with his quarterback room this week ahead of the Patriots’ Week 8 matchup against the four-time winning rival New York Jets. contract.


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