Patriots locker room was split on Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe
During an interview with WEEI in Boston, Devin McCourty indicated that the Patriots’ locker room seemed split on Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. I guess this isn’t surprising, but still is noteworthy nonetheless.
Devin McCourty in a recent interview indicated that there seemed to be some back and forth between some of the players. He expounded on this more:
"“I think player-wise there was enough trust that we’re going to put the best guy out there,” McCourty said, via ESPN.com. “But the struggles on offense, I think there were some guys in the locker room that were like ‘Let’s go with Zappe.’ Or ‘No, Mac looked good today.’ It was just a back and forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback. We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope.”"
This would be quite the indictment on Mac Jones, to be honest. Jones was a legitimate QB prospect and a true first round QB. He was selected back in 2021 and enjoyed quite the rookie season, leading a top 10 scoring offense and a 10 win team.
He regressed a bit in 2022, and I do think some of that regression was on him as Bailey Zappe did look quite solid in his rookie season this past season. In fact, I think it was pretty obvious that Zappe looked much more comfortable than Jones in the offense.
Going into year two with Jones and Zappe on the roster, my thinking is that Jones may actually have shorter leash than we think. Bill O’Brien is a legitimate offensive mind and I’m not sure there’s any reason for the Pats to keep playing Jones if he continues to struggle in 2023.
Just because he’s a first round pick does not make him immune to being benched for poor play. Look at Trey Lance, for example. He was a first round pick in the same draft as Mac Jones and he’s essentially been replaced by a seventh rounder in Brock Purdy.
We’ll see how the locker room feels in 2023 once Jones and Zappe hit the field again for the Patriots during the offseason programs.