Felger & Mazz

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After Brian Hoyer went down early with a head injury in the New England Patriots loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, rookie QB Bailey Zappe was forced to step in. Felger, Mazz, and Jim Murray give their thoughts on the current QB situation for the Patriots as they get set to host the Detroit Lions in week 5.

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    Mazz: All things considered, I give Zappe credit. That’s a tough spot, man. Third quarterback, first game, Lambeau Field, like the whole thing I give Zappe credit. Do I think he’s great? No, I don’t. I think Patricia did help him out at times. I thought obviously the playcalling overall was very conservative. The Patriots only threw 21 passes in the game. I mean, they were 15 for 21, their two quarterbacks. And frankly, I thought Brian Hoyer looked pretty good before he got hurt. So, you know, overall, I think they did a nice job kind of protecting their quarterback play. But if you’re asking me big picture, I’ll tell you the one thing that I think could be good…might be a little bit of a wake up call for Mac Jones. Like, you know, Zappe got in there, played well. Hoyer looked okay when he was in there. Like, if Mac Jones is failing results and thinks he’s got some sort of major leverage, maybe this is a good little kick in the ass.

    Jim Murray: The play action worked. And considering how they ran the ball, they probably should have done it a little bit more. I get why they wouldn’t trust him, he was the emergency quarterback thrown in. No one really expected much, but it was working. And so the one thing and Joe Murray and I talked about it in the post-game yesterday, I thought was pretty evident, you saw continuity and you hadn’t seen that with Mac Jones because Mac Jones, I don’t think has liked the operation. He doesn’t trust the offensive coordinator and the playcaller and that’s Patricia and Judge. And I think there’s been pushback since the summer. With Zappe it’s “yes, sir”, “no, sir”, “What do you need?”. And it all ran smoother. I thought that was pretty evident.

    Felger: So, let’s pick up our conversation from last week. Brian Hoyer at 100%, Mac Jones at 75%, or Bailey Zappe 100%. Who do you start this week?

    Mazz: Hoyer.

    Jim Murray: Zappe.

    Felger: Hoyer. Hoyer.

    Jim Murray: I think they get blown out if Hoyer plays. I know Hoyer looked all right before he got hurt, but he was going to do Hoyer things eventually. He just was.

    Felger: Is that fair?

    Jim Murray: I’m projecting. But I mean, it was the pants crapping was going to come eventually.

    Mazz: You might be right, Murray. I mean, the odds are in your favor. But he threw a good ball to Agholor I thought early in the game. Was it his first pass on the right sideline area? Maybe it was an out where I thought, he does have a stronger arm the Mac Jones.

    Felger: Uh oh. Say that again?

    Mazz: Hoyer has a stronger arm than Mac Jones. The ball comes out faster. And I mean the velocity on the throw. Hoyer’s got a better arm than Mac Jones, and I’m not telling you he’s a better quarterback than Mac Jones, but I thought Hoyer looked pretty good in the early part of this game. I was content with the way Hoyer was playing before he gets sacked and knocked out of the game, which didn’t really seem like that bad a hit, at least to the head.

    Jim Murray: Yeah, post Tua, what do you want?

    Felger: So now let’s go into that topic. Go ahead.

    Mazz: So I think there being extra careful with these quarterbacks now because all eyes are watching. So my guess is under normal circumstances, Hoyer would have stayed in that game yesterday.

    Felger: Dow we know, because the broadcast certainly didn’t focus on it. Did someone pull him or did he? I thought I had heard that he walked straight to the blue tent. I think he pulled himself is my guess. And that is without, you know, knowing at all, because we didn’t see it. But, I would have thought that if he was wobbly or disoriented or whatever, the camera would have showed us that. I think, and I thought someone said it, maybe Zo did, that he just walked straight to the blue tent. I think he self-reported. And if he hadn’t, I don’t know if he would have been spotted because as far as I could see or I haven’t heard anyone say that he was really like, you know, woozy. Yeah. So I think that started with Brian Hoyer.

    Mazz: But does he get examined right when he goes to the sideline?

    Felger: Yes, sir. Right in that blue tent. Yeah, absolutely. And I think it was as we expand, and not that I want to do a lot of this today, but as you expand that broader concussion topic and the protocols and all of this, it’s where it starts. I mean, the thing with Tua two weeks ago against Buffalo, it started with him fighting his way back onto the field. They don’t diagnose concussions on the sidelines. I don’t know if they can. I mean, I guess I could, but that’s not what they’re doing. They’re diagnosing symptoms. So, if you can avoid displaying symptoms, you can go back out there with a concussion. You know, the baseline testing, I guess, or whatever it is, you can fudge it. And let’s face it, the players want to go back, the coaches want you to go back, and it’s probably a low bar. So, Tua cleared the low bar two weeks ago in Buffalo and was sent back out there. Brian Hoyer, 14 years in the league, very end of his career, has a career in what I don’t know coaching? Something else coming up? He’s got his life to live, his family to raise. He’s done making his money playing football. He’s for all intents and purposes, kind of done playing football. He has nothing left to prove, nothing to really gain. He gets his bell rung, “nah, screw this, man. I’m not throwing myself back out there. Let’s go check this out.” And if I had to guess, that’s where it all started. Now, if someone can tell me that he got pulled by the spotter, then I’ll take that all back. I just, they didn’t show any footage of it on the sideline.