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Bill Belichick explains why he stayed with Bailey Zappe and not with Mac Jones


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“This league is about competition.”

Bailey Zappe (background) and Mac Jones (foreground) warm up before Bears-Patriots. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

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A day after the Patriots lost 33-14 to the Bears despite entering the game as a clear favorite, the discussion unsurprisingly lingered on the team’s two quarterbacks.

Mac Jones started the match, but Bailey Zappe finished it. Neither played well enough to definitely make a winning case to be the consistent starter going forward.

On Tuesday, Bill Belichick answered a series of questions about Jones and Zappe during his weekly interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”

When asked if it was correct that the plan was for Jones to play only the opening three sets of the game before being called out for Zappe, Belichick disagreed with the characterization.

“No, we were going to play both quarterbacks,” Belichick said. “And that’s what we’ve done.”

Belichick’s statement in this case is aided by the fact that, for example, NFL insider Adam Schefter reported in advance that New England would likely face both quarterbacks in the game.

The show’s co-host, Greg Hill, had a follow-up question: What drove the decision to switch to Zappe?

“We made the change. That’s what we set out to do,” Belichick began. “So we did, and then the game got out of control in the third quarter, and so I didn’t think it was in the best interest to put Mac back in the game. That’s really it.

Several Patriots players, including running back Rhamondre Stevenson and offensive lineman Michael Onwenu, expressed surprise at how the quarterback situation was handled, admitting surprise that Jones was benched during the second quarter.

Belichick said he communicated the decision to players he felt needed to know.

“I talked to the quarterbacks, talked to the leaders of the team, everyone knew what the plan was,” he explained. “I mean, not every person, obviously. I wouldn’t tell everyone about another player’s role in the game. They all have their jobs to do. Communication did not fail. »

Asked specifically about a postgame quote from Jakobi Meyers – in which the wide receiver said he “didn’t make that call” regarding the quarterback change – Belichick said he “didn’t hadn’t spoken to Jakobi after the game, so I’m not sure about any of that.

Regarding Jones’ future status, can it affect a player’s confidence not to be cut as a starter?

“Yeah, I don’t know. This league is about competition,” Belichick replied. “We have a lot of competitive players in our team. I never really thought that was the case.”

Going forward, the Patriots still have a quarterback controversy between Jones and Zappe.

New England’s next Test is Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Jets 5-2.

Will the Patriots continue to have quarterback competition ‘until one player really takes control?

“I don’t think that’s the situation at all,” Belichick said.

“We will do what we think is best for the football team,” he added later.

Belichick also touched on the idea of ​​an open “quarterback contest.”

“We will assess the situation as we always do, see what the options are, take the one we think is best for the football team.”



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