Did Bailey Zappe get a legitimate chance to battle Mac Jones?


“I don’t think back on it or get mad about what happened in the past or anything like that.”

Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

When the Patriots trimmed their roster down to 53-players on cutdown day earlier this season, Bailey Zappe was not on it. He had been waived.

After clearing waivers, Zappe returned to the team. Then, he rode the bench for 11 consecutive Mac Jones starts, appearing only when Jones played poorly enough to be benched.

Zappe made his second start of the season Thursday night. He threw three touchdowns and helped the Patriots pick up their third win of the season.

Does the success make Zappe feel vindicated?

“Not really,” Zappe said Monday afternoon on WEEI’s Jones and Mego with Arcand. “I think there’s still a lot more things that I can get better at and do better. I think this week we’ll try to do that. Looking back at these last few weeks, there’s a lot of things that we did good and didn’t do good. So, we’re just trying to take it week-by-week and get after the Chiefs this Sunday.”

Zappe was asked if he felt he had a legitimate opportunity to compete for the starting job in the offseason.

“That’s a question for Coach Belichick as far as reps and everything,” Zappe said.” I don’t know what the difference was between me and [Jones]. I don’t really get into any of that. I just try to stay focused on the reps I get and do the best that I can. Whatever decision coach makes, I’ll respect it and I’ll do whatever he says. I don’t think back on it or get mad about what happened in the past or anything like that. I’m focused on here and now and trying to get ready for the Chiefs and get another win.”

Zappe sidestepped a question about whether he felt the Patriots should have started him sooner.

“I’m just focused on what’s going on right now,” Zappe said. “That’s a question for coach and what he thinks. As far as me, I’m focused on the Chiefs this week and whatever he decides going forward I’ll respect his decision. Right now, I’m getting ready for the Chiefs.”

After the win, multiple Patriots mentioned the confidence that Zappe played with on Thursday night. All three of his touchdowns came in the first half, but New England went scoreless in the second half after the hot start.

Still, confidence remains a part of Zappe’s game.

“I think that’s an important trait to have as a quarterback, to always have confidence no matter what’s going on good or bad throughout the game,” Zappe said. “I think a lot of it comes from what you do throughout the week as far as preparation, how much film you watch, how much you go over the game plan, how well you know the plays as far as what you’re wanting to attack and what guy you’re wanting to get the ball to to make plays.”

“I think that’s where it comes from, just the preparation throughout the week,” Zappe added. “I’m still young, I’m still learning, I think there’s a few things I can continue to grow on and get better at through out the week that will help me when it comes to Sunday.

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