Patriots QB Bailey Zappe Sends Message About Future

Bailey Zappe

Getty Bailey Zappe feels more comfortable in Year 2.

New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe may not overtake Mac Jones for the starting job, but the second-year signal caller says has more confidence now.

“About 100% more [comfortable]. I mean, it’s night and day difference for me,” Zappe told the media on Sunday, July 30.

“Speaking from a defensive standpoint, being able to see defenses pre and post snap has been the biggest thing with me,” Zappe added. “I think that translates to meeting with both Bills [Belichick and O’Brien]. Watching more film. Just diving into the playbook and everything. It’s slowed the game down for me.”

Zappe made his mark as a rookie with a 2-0 record amid 781 yards passing and five touchdowns versus three interceptions in four games. Speculation arose if Zappe could take the starting job this year, but Jones maintained a firm grip on the job through offseason workouts.

Things started slow for Zappe in training camp where he completed less than 50% of his passes in drills during the first three practices last week. He improved on a Sunday, going 12-16, in 11-on-11 drills.

“Just getting better every day,” Zappe said. “Starting from Day 1, now we’re on Day 4 in the red zone. Just trying to continue to work on stuff, continue to improve down in the red area. … Today was kind of a product of the work that we’ve put in the last three or four days of installing and getting out here at practice and putting everything together.”

Zappe showed flashes in red zone drills with touchdown passes for wide receivers Tyquan Thornton, Jalen Hurd, and Tre Nixon. The Zappe-Hurd touchdown became a hit on social media with nearly 30,000 views.

“I kind of always say in red zone, everything is a lot more quicker. The field is a lot shorter, defense doesn’t have to cover as much field on that,” Zappe said. “The decision making for us as quarterbacks is a lot more faster, a lot more fast paced. To be able to do what he did today and score touchdowns like we did is really good to see.”

Bill Belichick Likes What He Sees in Bailey Zappe

Belichick has been pleased with Zappe overall through offseason practices and the start of training camp.

“Much better idea of what to expect, knows the offense, knows defenses much better than he did last year, has a much better idea of just the pace of installation, camp, what to expect, all those things,” Belichick told reporters on July 28. “He’s had a really good spring, too.”

Bailey Zappe Sees Difference Under Bill O’Brien

Zappe said having O’Brien as the offensive coordinator has made a big difference already. The Patriots previously had Matt Patricia and Joe Judge sharing the offensive coordinator role in 2022.

“It’s been great [working with him]. These short seven months I’ve been able to learn a lot from him,” Zappe said. “There’s a lot more things I can still learn from him so I’m trying to pick his brain every day.”

“He brings real energy. It’s kind of amazing to see, even behind closed doors in team meetings, unit meetings, QB meetings, he has the same energy as he does out here. It’s been amazing working with him.”

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