Morning Sports Update

Bailey Zappe discussed playing in his first NFL game, handling the pressure of the moment

"We're a big family, and I give a lot of credit to those guys for helping me stay calm."

Bailey Zappe scrambles during the Patriots-Packers game.
Bailey Zappe scrambles during the Patriots-Packers game. AP Photo/Matt Ludtke

The Red Sox defeated the Rays 4-3 on Monday. The two teams play again tonight at 7:10 p.m.

The Patriots await updates on the team’s quarterback situation prior to playing the Lions on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Bailey Zappe talked about his first regular season experience: In a flash, rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe went from his standard place on the sidelines to playing in an NFL game against a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

And while Zappe and the Patriots came up short in the end (losing 27-24 in overtime to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers), the 23-year-old rookie acquitted himself well in the difficult circumstances.


On Monday, Zappe joined WEEI’s “Merloni, Fauria & Mego” to discuss his unexpected NFL debut.

“I was just sitting by Joe [Judge] already, so he just told me to start getting warmed up,” Zappe said when he first saw Brian Hoyer leaving the field due to a head injury. “We didn’t know at that point in time what was happening, so he told me just to start getting warmed up just for whatever circumstances came.”

Though Zappe and the Patriots offense struggled to move the ball during the first half, he praised his offensive line for not only protecting him but helping the 2022 fourth-round pick keep his emotions in check as he grappled with the intensity of playing in a regular season game.

“Personally I like it when we get into the huddle and everybody’s talking to each other,” said Zappe. “I told Isaiah [Wynn] when I went in, just like look at me and be like, ‘It’s alright, we’re playing ball.’ And he did that almost every play he’d look at me and be like, ‘Alright, you’re good, let’s go.’ Trent [Brown] did it. [David Andrews] did it, I like that. The relationships that we have, this team is a big brotherhood. We’re a big family, and I give a lot of credit to those guys for helping me stay calm.”


Eventually, the Patriots put together back-to-back touchdown drives in the second half, including a 25-yard scoring pass from Zappe to DeVante Parker (the quarterback’s first as a professional).

It was a major accomplishment considering that his practice work in the buildup to the game was limited to scout team duties.

“I was doing scout [team] just like I do every week,” Zappe said of the preparation for Week 4. “I was doing the same thing I’ve done the last four weeks as far as meeting with coaches, watching film, kind of just taking it the same day-by-day that I’ve been doing.”

Zappe noted that his job description involved the possibility of playing on short notice, so he wasn’t caught off guard.

“As a backup, your role is always to be ready and always be prepared just in case a circumstance like that happens,” he said. “When my name was called I just went out there to do the best I can, do my job. The outcome of course didn’t go in our favor, but we got back in today and learned from the mistakes we made and continue to go about this week.”

Trivia: Can you name the two former Patriots draft picks during the Bill Belichick era (both ex-quarterbacks) who are now NFL head coaches?


(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Arizona, Minnesota.

More from

Kiké Hernandez’s game-tying double from Monday:

An overview of the recent investigation into the National Women’s Soccer League:

On this day: In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Yankees to win the World Series. Brooklyn defeated New York 2-0 to win Game 7 behind a pair of RBIs from first baseman Gil Hodges and nine scoreless innings from Johnny Podres.

It was the first Dodgers World Series win, avenging five losses the team had experienced in the Fall Classic in the previous 15 years (each time to the Yankees).

“This was the answer to the lordly spires of New York,” Dodgers announcer Vin Scully recalled decades later in a 2017 interview with Sports Illustrated.

“They beat them, finally.”

The beautiful moment in Dodgers history proved painfully short-lived. Losing to the Yankees in seven games the next season, the Dodgers would infamously leave Brooklyn after the 1957 season for Los Angeles.

Daily highlight: Deebo Samuel with a 57-yard catch-and-carry touchdown in the 49ers’ Monday Night Football win over the Rams.

Trivia answer: Kliff Kingsbury (sixth round, 2003), Kevin O’Connell (third round, 2008)


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on