Bill Belichick is being vague about the Patriots’ quarterback situation again
December 21st, 2022
For about a month there early in the season, the Patriots’ quarterback situation was as unsettled as it’s been in Bill Belichick‘s tenure in New England. Rookie Bailey Zappe replaced incumbent starter Mac Jones and won a pair of games in early October, playing well in the process. That led some to wonder if Jones’ job was in jeopardy. After a rough outing by Zappe against the Bears though, Jones returned and won three games in a row, seeming to steady things at the position.
That time period was highlighted by Belichick’s non-committal answersregarding the quarterback position, adding to the confusion. Those sorts of comments had subsided after Belichick definitively named Jones the starter prior to the Week 8 game against the Jets, but now it appears they may be back.
At the end of his press conference on Monday afternoon, Belichick was asked if the plan is to start Jones at quarterback over the final three weeks of the season. His answer would have fit in in the weeks leading up to Halloween, never mind Christmas.
“The plan’s to try to beat Cincinnati,” he replied, in full. That was the final question of Belichick’s media availability for the day.
Now, that declaration itself is far from officially pulling Jones from the starting lineup. But this re-opens a door that seemed to had been closed regarding the leadership of the Patriots’ offense. Once again, Jones’ standing with the team can and likely will be questioned externally. Then, the questions come about the internal knowledge of the situation and impact.
Given the team stuck with Jones on Sunday afternoon even as he struggled, and never benched him over the course of the 60 minutes, an outright switch at starter for Sunday’s game against the Bengals feels unlikely. At the same time though, Jones’ rope seems shorter than it did before the team left for the west coast two weeks ago.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.