In recent days at New England Patriots training camp, quarterback Bailey Zappe has taken first-team repetitions. Some might say a quarterback controversy could brew if assumed starting QB Mac Jones struggles down the road. Patriots fans got sick with Zappe fever last season and already have a temperature for the backup heading into this season.
Parts of conversation abbreviated for clarity.
Felger: When I emailed you and asked you to come on, you said, “Yeah, I’ll do it. But don’t get me into this Bailey Zappe bullcrap, okay? I don’t want to get into any of that crap.”.
Why is this topic not worth your time?
Greg Bedard: There’s no basis to talk about Bailey Zappe after what we’ve seen on the field this offseason.
Right now, it’s not an open competition. It’s not. Could it be? Sure. It might be at some point. And Bill is starting to sprinkle in compliments here and there to boost Zappe’s confidence. Belichick might be trying to goose Jones a little bit. For example, Zappe got his first real first-team snap yesterday. He got one snap with the first team.
The past two days during the jog-through, Zappe has been with Mac Jones and the starters opposed to being on the other field with Trace McSorley. That’s not anything significant, though. Mac Jones has always been with the starting offensive line during practice, but Zappe got that today. Zappe also got the premium pass-catching targets, while Mac got the backup targets.
There are remnants of a quarterback competition. Some media outlets are willing to say the Patriots already have their starting quarterback in Mac Jones. But you might remember the Cam Newton and Mac Jones situation that summer. Some of those same outfits said the exact same thing then, and they were decidedly wrong.