Bill Belichick still won't reveal who the starting QB will be on Sunday, but praised Bailey Zappe
Because we are now just one day away from the Patriots' Week 13 matchup with the Chargers, and Bill Belichick remains tight-lipped about who will be the starting quarterback, it's starting to feel like it's a game for the head coach at this point to see how long he can keep it an actual secret.
Although he hasn't explicitly said that Mac Jones will be benched and Bailey Zappe will be under center on Sunday, all indications have pointed to that being the case, with many team reporters confirming the rumors in recent days.
Zappe's upbeat attitude when speaking to the media throughout the week and the noticeable shift in QB reps at practice, where he was seen getting the traditional QB1 reps, also made it clear a change was coming. Reporters attempted to get Belichick just to come out and say Zappe is who they're going with this week, but all they got out of him was some praise for how the second-year player looked in practice leading up to the game.
"He’s pretty consistent. It’s about what it’s been all year. He’s pretty even-keeled, not a lot of roller coaster with him."
It's pretty bland and vague compliments, but could it also have been a slight shot at Jones? The last part of his sentence, "He's pretty even-keeled, not a lot of roller coaster with him," seemed like it may have been a reference to Jones' erratic throws this season, but maybe that's looking too much into it.
Despite the praise, Belichick continued to push back at questions demanding an answer for who will be the quarterback on Sunday. He emphasized the importance of the preparation this week while reiterating any and all decisions about who will be playing can be made as late as Sunday morning.
"I think the preparation’s been good. We’ll see what happens on Sunday. That’s always the test. But they put in the time, preparation. I think everybody’s trying to do that across the board, every position, and we’ll see how it goes on Sunday."
Typically, hearing a head coach express their happiness with how practice has gone in the lead-up to a game is assuring for fans, but Belichick has said this often throughout the season, and the results haven't lived up to his words.
At this point, most are hoping for the team to tank the final six games to acquire a higher first-round draft pick, but if they look good in the process of losing, they'll be happy with that as well.