Pats select Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe at 137

Eddie Jurak

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With the caveats that: we’re comparing a performance coming off the bench cold vs a good passing defense with GB and getting a week of installs in and going up against a bottom third passing defense and quite possible the overall worst defense in the league I think you saw two things in this game that are very encouraging. 1) pocket presence went from being pretty dreadful to poised over night. 2) he wasn’t hesitating with his reads and quick releases. You saw him getting the ball out on time. Being hesitant and being off timing and rhythm makes sense coming in cold. Pocket shakiness is more concerning because you want a backup even coming in cold to have good pocket presence. I was worried about Zappe after last week. I probably overreacted. I’m sorry.
He had a very good game, but they didn't exactly ask him to do a lot.
 

jmcc5400

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QB controversy!!!!
Not yet, but I saw him climb the pocket and step into more throws today better than Mac has this year. That it was the Lions’ awful defense is reason for a hard pause, but a lot to be encouraged and intrigued by from the kid.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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He had a very good game, but they didn't exactly ask him to do a lot.
I agree. And I'm never going to invest too much in one game. BUT...

He threw the ball down field and outside the numbers with much more confidence than we've seen from Mac. I'm sure that helps if there's 8 in the box against a shit defense, but I was way more impressed than I expected to be.

Someone said it last week, but this was the offense where Mac succeeded last year and, while I want him to expand his role further, they may want to strike more of a balance. He doesn't need to be throwing 18 checkdowns a game, but he also doesn't need to lead the league in air yards per throw.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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With the caveats that: we’re comparing a performance coming off the bench cold vs a good passing defense with GB and getting a week of installs in and going up against a bottom third passing defense and quite possible the overall worst defense in the league I think you saw two things in this game that are very encouraging. 1) pocket presence went from being pretty dreadful to poised over night. 2) he wasn’t hesitating with his reads and quick releases. You saw him getting the ball out on time. Being hesitant and being off timing and rhythm makes sense coming in cold. Pocket shakiness is more concerning because you want a backup even coming in cold to have good pocket presence. I was worried about Zappe after last week. I probably overreacted. I’m sorry.
I'll just reiterate no apologies necessary at all! The analysis you were giving was accurate and appreciated and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Baily going forward. The Zappe fever was as much optimism around exploring his unknown potential than it was a statement on Bailey's play last week. I think the expectation for most of us given the situation, 3rd string rookie being THROWN into the fire AT LAMBEAU, was total calamity. The fact that it wasn't total calamity was enough for excitement. It was nice to have someone actually analyzing Zappe's play for what it was.

His pocket presence and decision making improving so much from the first week is a great sign. Though he was about as well protected as one can be in an NFL game so that doesn't necessarily mean too much either as you pointed out. Lions look like a bottom 5 passing defense, Cleveland doesn't look great, but seems more middle of the pack so far, should be a good test for him if he gets the nod.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I agree. And I'm never going to invest too much in one game. BUT...

He threw the ball down field and outside the numbers with much more confidence than we've seen from Mac. I'm sure that helps if there's 8 in the box against a shit defense, but I was way more impressed than I expected to be.

Someone said it last week, but this was the offense where Mac succeeded last year and, while I want him to expand his role further, they may want to strike more of a balance. He doesn't need to be throwing 18 checkdowns a game, but he also doesn't need to lead the league in air yards per throw.
I think this is a real possibility. I don't necessarily equate the problem to Mac throwing downfield too much, but I've been wondering if they just kind of handed Mac the keys this year and said "go run the offense," whereas they planned specifically to simplify things for Zappe (and for Mac last year). That's probably an overstatment but I do wonder if they could do more for Mac than they have.

Of course there are other differences. Detroit is the worst defense they haver played all year and they lost a bunch of DBs in the game, the Pats OL seems to be rounding into form, etc.
 

RorschachsMask

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I don’t think there’s a QB controversy, but maybe they don’t rush Mac back now. Zappe throws a really nice ball though, floats a little less than Mac.
 

ZMart100

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Aside from one drive, his ball placement was much better than last week. Good to see the improvement.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Super impressed, again this week, with his pocket awareness, read progression, and his ability to take care of the ball. The offense looks much better with him in there.

Obviously I'm not the biggest Mac fan and I thought Zappe would suck, but it's impressive how he's not just defaulting to the easy throw like Mac has been prone to do.
 

heavyde050

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Super impressed, again this week, with his pocket awareness, read progression, and his ability to take care of the ball. The offense looks much better with him in there.

Obviously I'm not the biggest Mac fan and I thought Zappe would suck, but it's impressive how he's not just defaulting to the easy throw like Mac has been prone to do.
I also think the overall play calling has improved. Much more mixing in of play action, which is leading to Zappe having some open guys to throw to. Credit to Zappe for hitting them. But whether it was all Mac in the beginning or the new play callers finding out what works, the play calling against Detroit and Cleveland has seemed much better (and so has the execution).
 

Arroyoyo

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He’s also buying time in the pocket to hit those guys. It’s probably both playcalling and the QB’s ability to extend plays that’s paying off.
 

rodderick

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Super impressed, again this week, with his pocket awareness, read progression, and his ability to take care of the ball. The offense looks much better with him in there.

Obviously I'm not the biggest Mac fan and I thought Zappe would suck, but it's impressive how he's not just defaulting to the easy throw like Mac has been prone to do.
I think this performance was better or at least on par with Mac's best games last year. Won't compare it to 2022 because they were asking way more of Mac.
 

NortheasternPJ

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After today's performance, Mac just might find himself Pipped Zapped
Maybe it’s me but I hate the Wally Pipp comments as it’s not funny at all. First we’ve all seen the clip and it’s not an inside joke or clever and it’s way over used here. Also with Mac Jones he clearly wants to get onto the field. It’s not the same context at all as it was with Welker.

A Bledsoe or Mo Lewis joke is way closer to the situation.
 

Arroyoyo

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Yeah it’s more of a Bledsoe situation to me. Bledsoe didn’t do anything wrong, he just wasn’t the right fit for the offense at that point in time. When he was in, the offense lacked dynamism outside of the occasional laser throw or boom-or-bust play. It was inconsistent, whereas it found some consistency under a young Brady.

This feels more like that (putting what happened after that season, in terms of Brady becoming the GOAT, aside). Zappe could live 10,000 lifetimes and not see the success Tom Brady has had. But, purely from a “zero-expectations late-round QB seems to feel like a better fit for the team than the high-expectations first-round QB” standpoint, this QB situation - in a vacuum - does feel a lot like ‘01.

Mac is a fine kid. But if this keeps up he may be someone else’s fine kid.
 

reggiecleveland

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Maybe it’s me but I hate the Wally Pipp comments as it’s not funny at all. First we’ve all seen the clip and it’s not an inside joke or clever and it’s way over used here. Also with Mac Jones he clearly wants to get onto the field. It’s not the same context at all as it was with Welker.

A Bledsoe or Mo Lewis joke is way closer to the situation.
Lighten up Francis

Wally Pipp as a verb is a thing much bigger than one Patriots soundbite. Wally Piip, you know the guy that it is named after, wanted to play too, and played 372 games after the Yankees replaced him. Also the wordplay words ending in pp, works much better than being Beldosed.
You want MAc to keep his job, fine, but the jokes are not out of line.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Lighten up Francis

Wally Pipp as a verb is a thing much bigger than one Patriots soundbite. Wally Piip, you know the guy that it is named after, wanted to play too, and played 372 games after the Yankees replaced him. Also the wordplay words ending in pp, works much better than being Beldosed.
You want MAc to keep his job, fine, but the jokes are not out of line.
Im actually 50/50 on Mac /Zappe so I have no bias here outside of the Pipp joke being overused and stale after only a few weeks. It’s like it’s coming out of the Edelman Comedy Club. I’d prefer Zappe starts next week for the record.

The only reason it’s brought up here is the BB comment to Welker.
 
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snowmanny

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Im actually 50/50 on Mac /Zappe so I have no bias here outside of the Pipp joke being overused and stale after only a few weeks. It’s like it’s coming out of the Edelman Comedy Club. I’d prefer Zappe starts next week for the record.

The only reason it’s brought up here is the BB comment to Welker.
The only reason Bledsoe is brought up is also BB. Otherwise we'd say Mac has been Romoed.
 

nighthob

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Let's be honest, Bailey Zappe is just way more fun to say than Mac Jones, plus you get the whole Zappe Attacky! thing to go along with it.
 

HomeRunBaker

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This was Tweeted out 2 years ago by one of the best college football handicappers and talent evaluators out there. I think it’s time to look back and recognize that Zappe isn’t some cute little Gardner Minshew-like story. This kid almost singlehanded upset Texas Tech when he was at Houston Baptist then destroyed every defense he played during his one year at Western Kentucky. I’m all-in!

B9B9BE0D-DAF9-4453-BB0C-08B72EF2B76D.png
 

Marciano490

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I’m catching up on some highlights from the parts of the game I missed….. getting a little excited fellas, he seems to have some real zip, makes quick reads, can move pretty well in the pocket, and he’s winning.
 

lars10

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I’m catching up on some highlights from the parts of the game I missed….. getting a little excited fellas, he seems to have some real zip, makes quick reads, can move pretty well in the pocket, and he’s winning.
Also.. I don't know if the play calling has just changed, but for the first time all year the TEs were used significantly all game. Not sure what's been happening this year but it's felt like Mac hasn't found the TEs all year.
 

lars10

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Im actually 50/50 on Mac /Zappe so I have no bias here outside of the Pipp joke being overused and stale after only a few weeks. It’s like it’s coming out of the Edelman Comedy Club. I’d prefer Zappe starts next week for the record.

The only reason it’s brought up here is the BB comment to Welker.
The only reason it's brought up is because it's a historical reference that everyone on this board knows since it's mainly a baseball board. It has nothing at all to do with BB and Welker.
 

mwonow

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The only reason it's brought up is because it's a historical reference that everyone on this board knows since it's mainly a baseball board. It has nothing at all to do with BB and Welker.
Yeah, gotta say, it's odd to think that there are folks who hear "Wally Pipp" and think "Welker!" rather than "Lou Gehrig!"
 

HomeRunBaker

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Also.. I don't know if the play calling has just changed, but for the first time all year the TEs were used significantly all game. Not sure what's been happening this year but it's felt like Mac hasn't found the TEs all year.
It’s interesting since only 17 of Zappe’s 475 completions were to his TE’s.
 

radsoxfan

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Yeah, gotta say, it's odd to think that there are folks who hear "Wally Pipp" and think "Welker!" rather than "Lou Gehrig!"
Yes, very strange.

No one that brings it up is primarily referring to Welker/BB. It’s one random NFL Films clip some Pats fans might have seen, no one cares.

It’s a pretty widely known sports example of a backup taking over, out performing the starter, and never giving the job back. That’s it.
 

lexrageorge

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Yes, very strange.

No one that brings it up is primarily referring to Welker/BB. It’s one random NFL Films clip some Pats fans might have seen, no one cares.

It’s a pretty widely known sports example of a backup taking over, out performing the starter, and never giving the job back. That’s it.
Exactly. Also, to complete the thought, it should be noted that Welker caught 449 passes for 5119 yards in 61 regular season games after that clip from A Football Life. Good enough for 2 All-Pro and 3 Pro Bowl nominations, fwiw.
 

Mooch

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Zappe’s pocket presence and touch reminds me an awful lot of Drew Brees. We’ve got something here. I’m a believer.
 

cgori

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Exactly. Also, to complete the thought, it should be noted that Welker caught 449 passes for 5119 yards in 61 regular season games after that clip from A Football Life. Good enough for 2 All-Pro and 3 Pro Bowl nominations, fwiw.
My understanding of that clip is that is that Welker/Belichick were specifically talking about the "job" of punt returner, not the general idea of playing football. Welker tore his ACL late in 2009 (week 17, I think?) and Edelman did ultimately take over the return duties. The clip is from the 2009 pre-season (right?) and they were trying Edelman out in the return game, as a rookie.
 

mulluysavage

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Does anyone know where to get counts of personnel packages by team by game? There are posts about the game plan being different for Mac and Zappe, that the comparison is apples and oranges. Were Mac's games mostly 1 TE sets? Zolak had been pining for play-action during Mac's games.

I'd be interested to see if/when Mac plays again, if they go with the apples game plan or the oranges game plan.

I also wouldn't be surprised if BB says let's keep rolling with what's working as a whole, the enchilada of Zappe + Zappe-friendly game plan. This would in the end not be a simple Mac-vs-Zappe choice.
 

jmcc5400

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One point Lazar makes that is worth some emphasis is how much more frequently Zappe was under center than Mac has been this year, which (I think) facilitates both the running game and play action. When Mac comes back, I hope he is under center and they run play action with more frequency.
 

DourDoerr

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Huh, the BMZ.

I think Mac's going to start when he's healthy, but boy it's been fun to watch Zappe the last two weeks. He seems at worst to be a legit NFL backup. Given his poise and command only 2+ games in, there's potential for real growth too. There were a lot of nice throws laced all over the field to a wide number of receivers. Forget the competition - it's a great start regardless.
 

AlNipper49

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If you squint hard enough, and took an extra shot of homer juice, you can make the case that we drafted the best QB each of the last two years.
 

Koufax

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A week ago on the Felger / Holley show Ben Volin opined that Zappe would never be an NFL starting quarterback. I usually respect Volin, but in that case I had to say "Say what?"