Here’s what Bill Belichick had to say about Bailey Zappe vs. Mac Jones

There was a theme to Belichick's answers.

Bailey Zappe Mac Jones
Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe at Patriots practice on Oct. 6. AP Photo/Steven Senne

A day after Bailey Zappe led the Patriots to a second consecutive win by passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-15 rout of the Browns, Bill Belichick was still not ready to formally address the possibility of a quarterback controversy.

Belichick, however, was also unwilling to categorically dismiss the possible existence of a competition between Zappe and Mac Jones (whenever the latter returns from injury).

Instead, he maintained a similar line as the previous week, noting that Jones — New England’s 2021 first-round pick and presumptive starter prior to his injury in Week 3 — wasn’t on the field Sunday.


“We’ll see how that process is,” said Belichick of the quarterback decision heading into next week’s Monday night matchup with the Bears. “Mac still wasn’t able to play. So we’ll continue to evaluate him and see how he’s doing physically.”

Jones has been out with an ankle injury. And while he’s been able to practice to some extent, the 24-year-old has been inactive each of the last two Sundays.

During his appearance afterward on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick was asked if Jones will start if he’s healthy enough to play next week.

“That wasn’t an option yesterday,” Belichick replied, echoing his earlier response. “He wasn’t active for the game, so it was really no option to play him.”

Later in the interview, another version of the question was put to Belichick: Is Zappe competing for the starting quarterback job, or is it Jones’s whenever he returns without question?

“Look it’s every player’s job to be ready to go. That’s their job,” Belichick offered before adding a familiar refrain. “Mac wasn’t active yesterday so there’s nothing to really talk about.”

Is it fair to compare Jones in Weeks 1-3 with Zappe in Weeks 5-6?


“I don’t look at it that way, no,” Belichick answered.

As for how much Jones has helped Zappe prepare during his two starts, Belichick praised the team’s original 2022 starting quarterback.

“Mac does a great job. He gives us great leadership and great presence there for our entire team, but especially offensively, and in the quarterback room,” said Belichick.

“He’s got a lot of great insight all the time, whether he’s playing or [like the] last couple weeks where he wasn’t playing, he still adds a lot to us.”


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