Expect more of the same from the Patriots at quarterback this week
Coming out of their bye week last week, the New England Patriots tried something new in terms of managing the quarterback position. Both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe split starting reps in practice (to what extent remains a mystery as there have been conflicting reports), then split time in the game with Jones starting and playing the first half and Zappe coming in at halftime.
That process didn’t do much to improve the team’s quarterback play. Jones and Zappe finished a combined 21-of-35, throwing for 143 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. Despite that, it sounds like the team is ready to run back the quarterback approach this week, as they prepare to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
“I think it’ll be the same as last week, relative to going into the week,” offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said on Tuesday when asked about this week’s plan for the team’s starting quarterback.
“Let’s do a good job this week of, installing a good game plan, teaching it to the players and then the players going out there and executing it on the practice field. That’s really, really what it comes down to,” he continued. “We’re going to continue to work hard on the practice field and then see how it all shakes out relative to gameday.”
This seems to be setting up for another week of ambiguity regarding the Patriots’ starting quarterback position. Following Sunday’s game Bill Belichick declined to answer a question about the next week’s starter. He’s next scheduled to speak Wednesday morning. Belichick declined to publicly name a starting quarterback throughout the week last week, answering just about every question on the matter by telling reporters he’s “telling everybody to be ready.”
It’s even possible a new name is brought into the mix. On Monday, Belichick was asked if the team would look to bring in a free agent at the position. “I don’t really see that right now, but I mean, I wouldn’t rule anything out, anything that would help our team,” he said. The Patriots hosted five free agents for workouts on Monday, including quarterback Austin Burton.