New England Patriots

ESPN’s Mike Reiss joined Zolak and Bertrand in studio to hit on a number of topics following the Patriots 27-24 overtime loss to the Packers on Sunday in Green Bay. Here are some of the highlights in this week’s edition of “Reiss’ Thesis”.

  • Assessing Bailey Zappe's performance

    “I was impressed, given the situation that he was put in. That’s a tough spot. Like a 4-yard line, Lambeau Field. He did a great job. I would say what Matthew Judon said after the game was good enough for me. He comes to the podium, he’s talking about something, and he just sort of veers off. And out of nowhere he talks about his respect for what Bailey Zappe did. That’s a huge deal. And I thought to me that’s where I would start with Zappe. I mean, it was really limited. That looked like the first couple days of training camp to me, you know, running game, play action screen passes, not much else going on with the offense. So they really limited and handcuffed with what they could do. But I thought given the circumstances, he accounted for himself well.” 

  • Is an injured Mac better than a healthy Zappe?

    If you’re telling me it’s 80 percent, I’m going, Mac. I think my question would be it can he really be at 80% at this stage with a severe high ankle sprain like that? I think to me, if the number is going to be closer to 50 or 60 and that’s where I would go to Zappe. But 80, would you hit my number right there that I would go with Mac at 80 over Bailey Zappe. 

    I will just tell you, what I was told was that he has significant instability in that area and. I believe the initial reporting that is enough instability that. Surgery is part of the conversation. You don’t always have to get surgery. But I still buy that. I think Mac’s mentality, which I love, is he wants to play like he wants like. So I think it’s about what you want and what’s realistic. And I think that’s what we’re talking about here.

  • What Jamie Collins signing says about Patriots linebackers

    ‘Well, the first thought I had was, was everything we talked about back in April and May when we were talking about the draft and where the team might go linebacker. And then the surprise in the draft when they don’t draft a linebacker all and they go into the season. And I remember hearing some of the coaches say we have some young guys that we feel good about that people don’t know about yet. And when you bring Jamie back, it tells me that these young guys that we didn’t know about at the time haven’t emerged to developed the way maybe they hoped for. Thinking of players like Cameron McGrone on the practice squad, the fifth round pick from last year, Mack Wilson, who they acquired in a trade from the Browns for Chase Winovich, Raekwon McMillan, who they brought back after he missed last year with a torn ACL. 

    Josh Uche you hope he’s at as a rookie, you start him play in that position, then you say, yeah, maybe we’ll move him to more of a pure defensive end role in the second year, and then they just keep him there. And so to me, that’s what that bit of what when you bring back Jamie Collins, it’s an acknowledgment that what they have isn’t producing the way they hoped that it would. And he’s a guy that knows the system. Obviously, they know him. He can play on the line. He can play off the line. And what have they given up with? 199 rushing yards to the Packers and in the second half, the week before against the Ravens, it was like 126 rushing yards. So in the last six quarters, you’ve given up almost 330 yards on the ground like you want to say, not having Lawrence Guy is part of that. Sure, I’ll buy that. But not 330 yards worth. That’s a lot more than just Lawrence Guy.”

  • Listen to Zolak & Bertrand from 10-2 every Monday-Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with hosts Marc “Beetle” Bertrand, Scott Zolak, and Rob “Hardy” Poole. You can listen live in the Sports Hub App and subscribe to their podcasts here. Follow @ZoAndBertrand on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the show!