If that’s the case, head coach Bill Belichick isn’t about to entertain those concepts. He was asked the question on Monday after Zappe led the Patriots to a 29-0 win at home over the Detroit Lions. This was his response:
“I’m not going to get into a lot of hypotheticals on all different things that might or might not happen, and all that,” said Belichick on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show.
“To me, it’s a waste of time. I’m not going to sit around here and dream up scenarios and all that. “We’ll take things as they come and go from there. Honestly, Mac wasn’t active (Sunday), and it wasn’t any part of any decision yesterday.”
It’s clearly not a waste of time, but the talk of a more permanent change is a little premature. Whatever the case, it is tough to blame Belichick for being evasive.
Bill Belichick Won’t Show His Hand
One can only guess what Belichick is thinking. Over the past 20 years, the Patriots’ coach has become a master at saying a bunch or a little bit of nothing about these kinds of decisions.
However, the last time the Patriots had anything close to a QB controversy, Belichick was pretty definitive in his support for the current starter.
In 2020, the team and the quarterback struggled, with the Patriots rolling with Cam Newton as their starter. Many called Belichick to turn to Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, but the Hoodie wouldn’t ever make the move permanently.
Instead, Belichick repeatedly said, “Cam’s our quarterback.“
If you notice what Belichick said in his answer to this question, he never flat-out called Jones his starter. If he had, it would have shut the door on the speculation that is gaining momentum by the day.
Will the Questions About the QB Situation Continue?
In a small sample size, Zappe has shown the flashes that suggest the Patriots may have uncovered yet another diamond in the rough. We will need to see more of Zappe, perhaps in Week 6 on the road against the Cleveland Browns, to be more comfortable.
If Jones is still hurt and Zappe gets the start, it will be an all-important game for him if he plans to take the job.
The Browns will have almost two games of tape to watch on Zappe, which should help them put together a plan to force the rookie into some mistakes.
If Zappe plays well again and the Patriots win to move their record to an even 3-3, it might become more difficult for Belichick to dodge the QB questions. Expect Jones to do all he can to work his way from doubtful and a late inactive listing to, at the very least questionable ahead of the tangle with the Browns.
Another Zappe performance like the one against the Lions should have Jones feeling the heat.