Mike Reiss on how the Patriots backup QB situation will play out
Mike Reiss of ESPN joined Zolak & Bertrand on Tuesday. Among topics discussed was the much-publicized backup quarterback situation. Reiss detailed who he sees as the frontrunner to back up Mac Jones come Week 1.
Will it be Zappe or Corral? Mike Reiss weighs in…
“I think it’ll be Bailey Zappe as the backup on Sunday, just because he’s been with the team. Last week we were talking about the idea that maybe they bring someone in behind Mac to sort of support the the the improved the backup situation. But I certainly didn’t think they were going to move on from Bailey Zappe and expose him to waivers. So to me how do you interpret it? The fact that they were willing to lose Bailey Zappe to another team tells you that they see a huge gap between Mack and Bailey Zappe, and they’re trying to fill in the gap, and they’re going to see if Matt Corral is an upgrade there to fill in the gap.”
What happened to the QB competition between Mac and Zappe?
“I think it is a result of the change to Bill O’Brien. It’s a totally different, I guess, responsibility that they’re asking him to do to drop back and and go through his progressions and read defenses before the snap. Not that he wasn’t doing that last year, but I think they simplified it, particularly when he got into the games. I think where I struggle for Bailey and I almost want to stand up and defend him a little bit is I thought it was hard to analyze a lot of his performance because of what was happening in front of him on the offensive line. I almost feel like man I don’t want to say he didn’t get a fair shake, but I would love to have seen him in front of the starting line to get a better evaluation.”
7 thoughts on the New England Patriots initial 53-man roster
One of the NFL’s most significant deadlines has come and gone. NFL teams had until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to trim their rosters from the 90-player offseason limit to 53 players for the start of the 2023 regular season.
That left each team – Patriots included – with what is referred to as the ‘initial’ 53-man roster. Keep in mind, very few teams end up playing any actual games with their ‘initial’ 53-man roster. The roster will keep evolving in the week and a half between now and Week 1 with things like IR placements, waiver claims, and practice squad signings.
Further complicating the nature of the ‘initial’ 53-man roster are the NFL’s new practice squad elevation rules. Teams often don’t carry positional minimums out of the gate to open up other roster spots elsewhere, knowing they can fill those spots later without bringing in a player off the street. In that sense, ‘initial’ rosters may take two to three weeks to fully shake out in reality.
That all being said, it’s not like there’s nothing that can be taken away from the initial rosters. Even if players are cut and brought back, it shows the team wasn’t afraid of possibly using them. Likewise, players not being exposed can be a sign the team is higher on them than others. Plus, it’s possible to project ahead to what kind of work needs to be done between the initial cuts and taking the field on Week 1.
So, what can we learn from the Patriots’ initial cutdown from 90 to 53 players? Here are seven takeaways, starting with a big-picture concept that served as the umbrella take of the day.