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Felger & Mazz

Felger & Mazz

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.

On Thursday’s Felger & Mazz radio program, Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal joined the show to discuss his quarterback observations.

Parts of conversation abbreviated for clarity.

Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) makes his way to the practice fields for training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe makes his way to the practice fields for 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

 

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. 

  • New England Patriots quarterbacks #10 Mac Jones and #4 Bailey Zappe share a laugh at practice. (Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK)

    New England Patriots quarterbacks #10 Mac Jones and #4 Bailey Zappe share a laugh at practice. (Bob Breidenbach/The Providence Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK)

     

    Greg Bedard: It’s not time for competition, and they’re not there yet. The coaches are still teaching, and the players are learning. It’s the same stuff I told you last year. It’s the same stuff I told you when Cam Newton was here. The competition has not started yet. It probably will start after the Texans’ preseason game. 

    I wouldn’t say it’s totally cut and dried that Mac Jones is definitely the starter. But there’s also no open competition. So I don’t understand why you talk about it. It just sounds like you’re trying to create some topic of discussion. Quite frankly, this team’s largely pretty boring. 

    Red Sox aren’t doing anything. The Bruins are just doing what they’re doing. The Jaylen Brown contract topic is over. This conversation isn’t based on reality. 

    Felger: Based on your answer, I think the QB competition is more real now than it was before I asked you the question. So, thank you. Thank you for fueling the fire, Greg. 

    Greg Bedard: There’s no fire! I will tell you when there’s a competition. There is no quarterback competition right now. Could there be one at some point? Yes. 

    Full Segment

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