Toucher & Rich

Weekdays 6am-10am

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Mike Reiss of ESPN joins Toucher & Rich for his weekly appearance and shares his takeaways on the New England Patriots. Reiss shares his thoughts on the Patriots’ 24-27 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Zappeā€™s debut and much more!

  • ZAPPE FEVER?

    Oct 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Fred: Mike, is it Zappe fever? Is that what we’re experiencing right now?

    Mike Reiss: Oh, man. If that’s what they have to do. I think that that’s what it will be. Obviously not ideal. I was actually asking Phil on our drive down, ‘did you see Brian Hoyer after the game?’ just to get a feel for where that situation was he said, you know, he saw him coming out of the locker room, had like a hood over his head and just his head was down.

    So my thought would be Brian’s availability this week for the Lions game on Sunday is very much in question. From what I saw from Mac Jones at the limited view at practice late last week, it looks like that would be asking a lot for him to go this week. I mean, maybe that could change, but I mean, it’s almost like last man standing, right? They lose all they have right now.

  • HOYER OR ZAPPE IN WEEK 5

    Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4), quarterback Brian Hoyer (5), and quarterback Mac Jones (10) jog out for warm-ups before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 19, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4), quarterback Brian Hoyer (5), and quarterback Mac Jones (10) jog out for warm-ups before a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Rich: Let’s say he is healthy and Brian Hoyer is back, is he your starter or do they once again go with Bailey Zappe? You seem to handle himself pretty well.

    Mike Reiss: You know, that was the question I was asking right after the game because I thought if you had asked me before the game, I would have said Hoyer, because they can do more with Brian just because he knows more of the offense.

    I think what’s hard for us to quantify watching Bailey’s Zappe is how much they had to scale back what they were doing in the game yesterday. So I would think they would lean toward Hoyer if he’s ready to go, but I sort of lean in your direction – I would think they have to plan that he can’t go and that they can build a game plan around Zappe and in that sense, I think they can build one.

    I think he showed enough that you can go out and win a game with with Bailey Zappe as your quarterback.

  • PLAY CALLS IN OVERTIME

    GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 02: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers shake hands after Green Bay's 27-24 win in overtime at Lambeau Field on October 02, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 02: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers shake hands after Green Bay’s 27-24 win in overtime at Lambeau Field on October 02, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    Wallach: What did you think about the play calling in overtime when Zappe is handed the ball at midfield and they were extremely conservative when they only needed to make 1, maybe 2 first downs to try and win the game?

    Mike Reiss: I knew this was coming up and I went back to watch it before coming on today and what I thought really hurt him when I went back and watched it first down, you’re at your own 49 yard line and you were running the ball very well. You have five yards on first down. Second and five. They run the ball to the left where Trent Brown had been really cleaning things up. Guys, there were times during the game where I was watching Trent Brown – he was flexing his muscle after pancake blocks. He was motioning to the sideline, ‘hey keep running to my side’. So I understood why they would run on second and five to the left side.

    They had a major blocking miscue. It looked like the left guard, Cole Strange, the center, David Andrews, they collided into each other. To me they’re running the ball. Like I’m fine with the run call. I just wonder if that specific run play I don’t know if they maybe you could have called a different run. I can’t blame them for that. I might have gone for it though.

    That would be where I would question it, you know. 4th down. If I’d come back to Aaron Rodgers, like I don’t know if you guys were thinking the same thing like we were doing back then.

  • MAC JONES AT PRACTICE

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 25: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 25: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Rich: Looking at the big picture of this team, what did you think of the weird Mac Jones appearance at practice on Friday? What does that mean? Why was he there?

    Mike Reiss: I thought it was more symbolic than anything. I think he wanted to show his toughness to his teammates and let them know that he’s there with them even though he’s got a significant high left ankle sprain. I think he was preparing to play.

    He was in these game plan meetings but I think he knew pretty early in the week that was not going to happen. He’s got a lot of instability, I’m told, around the high ankle sprain. I think he wanted to get out there more as a show of support to his teammates and maybe some gamesmanship on behalf of Bill Belichick.

    He played in or I should say Belichick played into that just to create the illusion that he maybe could play when in reality they knew that was never going to happen.

  • SURGERY OR NO SURGERY?

    Mac Jones

    (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Rich: Bert Breer is in studio and he had a good theory on this and I want to know how much you know and whether you subscribe to this. at the beginning, here may have been somewhat of a differing opinion between what Mac Jones wanted to do and what the team want him to do. The team possibly want him to get the tightrope surgery and then Mac Jones not wanting to get it. And that he thought that when Mac got the second opinion that perhaps it was a better prognosis than they thought and now that’s kind of something that they don’t have to worry about anymore. And obviously, he’s not going to get the surgery.

    What are you hearing about that? Did you is that something you’ve also heard as well? What do you know?

    Mike Reiss: Yeah, well, obviously Bert is well connected, so I wouldn’t argue with anything he said. I think that’s the main thing that I heard with Just Mac It’s more like, I don’t know. I didn’t hear anything about disagreement with the team as much as personal preference. Talk to people that have had this surgery. What does it feel like after? And maybe they relayed back, Hey, you can get back, but the ankle might feel stiff.

    So you want to balance short term thoughts versus long term thoughts You’re thinking big picture here. You got a long career ahead of you. That was what was relayed to me just in terms of his mindset.

    I just have to look at it this way, guys, from a team perspective, going to common sense wise, they both want to get them back on the field as soon as possible and get him comfortable. Like he hasn’t looked as comfortable this year as he did last year.

    I don’t see how the team sort of forcing him, if we want to sort of go further with this theory, would lead to more comfort, which ultimately has to be the goal for both sides. That’s the only thing about that whole thing that, you know, I look at with a skeptical eye.

  • IS COACHING TO BLAME FOR INJURIES?

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 26: Senior football advisor Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots speaks to quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots during the first half of a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Senior football advisor Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots speaks to quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots during the first half of a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    Rich: Finally, this is a point that’s made by a listener, but it’s a great point, is that when you take a look at how the quarterbacks have been injured at the beginning of the season, you’ve had Mac Jones in week 1 not able to make it to the podium to do his press conference. Week 3, he gets knocked out. Week 4, you’ve got Brian Hoyer get knocked out and you’re already on your third string quarterback.

    How much do you put that on, perhaps an offensive coordinator who’s never done this before?

    Mike Reiss: I guess we got to look at each each play, right? I mean, on the Hoyer play, it’s a one and one blocking situation. I mean, we could all we could say, how much of that is on personnel? Why’d you pick the guy in the first round if he can’t execute a block? You know what I mean? So I think you could make that argument if you want. I don’t necessarily subscribe to it.

    To me, it’s about execution and getting the right players on the field and making the plays. That that one line yesterday was pretty clear. The guys rushing off the edge, you know, pass blocking technique breakdown by Isaiah Wynn you just get your quarterback splattered. That to me is where I would focus more on the player execution.

     

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