Pats select Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe at 137

54thMA

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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?"
Tonight he said there is a QB controversy, you ride the hot hand and stick with Zappe.
 

rodderick

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I wasn't around for the Bledsoe/Brady controversy, but I understand the emotional attachment people had to Drew, I don't really get why so many fans just seem to love Mac Jones. The Patriots subreddit in particular talks of the guy as if he had led the team to 8 Super Bowls. What am I missing here? Sure, there's a significant chance Mac comes back as a starter, plays well, and makes this Zappe discussion seem silly in hindsight, but I don't think he's shown enough to make me be so protective of him as a fan. I think his skillset is perfectly comparable to Zappe's.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I wasn't around for the Bledsoe/Brady controversy, but I understand the emotional attachment people had to Drew, I don't really get why so many fans just seem to love Mac Jones. The Patriots subreddit in particular talks of the guy as if he had led the team to 8 Super Bowls. What am I missing here? Sure, there's a significant chance Mac comes back as a starter, plays well, and makes this Zappe discussion seem silly in hindsight, but I don't think he's shown enough to make me be so protective of him as a fan. I think his skillset is perfectly comparable to Zappe's.
1. Pats spent a first round pick on him, the highest they’ve drafted a QB in the BB era.
2. He had a very good rookie year, leading them to 10 wins and a playoff spot, and generally played pretty well for a rookie.
3. Despite looking like he regressed in early, limited action this year, he shouldn’t lose his job to a rookie who (at this point) isn’t clearly better than him.

I’m not on Reddit so I can’t speak to why fans would have an emotional attachment to Mac, but I can understand why fans would want to see him back in there once he’s healthy. Personally I think it’s the right call, but I’m glad BB is the one making the decision and I’m fine either way.

As I mentioned in one of the threads on Sunday, the QB controversy stuff was inevitable after Sunday, and there are going to be irrational fans on both sides of the argument. I rarely listen to sports radio but turned it on briefly yesterday and pretty much every caller wanted Zappe in there. Hell there’s a post in this thread comparing him to Drew freakin’ Brees, a HOFer who played for nearly two decades and has the 2nd most TD passes of all time. There’s close to a zero percent chance Zappe has Brees’ career, and making that comparison after two games is beyond absurd, yet here we are.
 
Feb 19, 2015
5,068
Zappe’s pocket presence and touch reminds me an awful lot of Drew Brees. We’ve got something here. I’m a believer.
For the sake of discussion, let's assume Zappe continues to play this year and continues to show growth and improvement, what happens with Mac? Can they trade him for anything of value? Would they trade him for anything of value? They almost have to trade him once they make the decision that Zappe is "the guy" right?
 

RorschachsMask

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For the sake of discussion, let's assume Zappe continues to play this year and continues to show growth and improvement, what happens with Mac? Can they trade him for anything of value? Would they trade him for anything of value? They almost have to trade him once they make the decision that Zappe is "the guy" right?
I’d be pretty surprised if it went down this way, but I think Mac would have a lot of value.
 

cshea

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Sam Darnold, after 3 seasons of play worse than Mac's rookie + 3 game sample, returned a 2nd, 4th and 6th. I believe Carolina was only getting 2 years of control with Darnold.

In the hypothetical where they trade Mac, they would get a haul.
 

jacklamabe65

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Mike Lombardi said on his podcast that there would be no quarterback controversy in NE with BB as coach because he will "always go with starting a player who brings his team the best chance to win," Right now, it's Zappe. Lombardi also stated that Bill's players totally agree with that sentiment in terms of starting the player who gives the team the best chance to win.
 

Mooch

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1. Pats spent a first round pick on him, the highest they’ve drafted a QB in the BB era.
2. He had a very good rookie year, leading them to 10 wins and a playoff spot, and generally played pretty well for a rookie.
3. Despite looking like he regressed in early, limited action this year, he shouldn’t lose his job to a rookie who (at this point) isn’t clearly better than him.

I’m not on Reddit so I can’t speak to why fans would have an emotional attachment to Mac, but I can understand why fans would want to see him back in there once he’s healthy. Personally I think it’s the right call, but I’m glad BB is the one making the decision and I’m fine either way.

As I mentioned in one of the threads on Sunday, the QB controversy stuff was inevitable after Sunday, and there are going to be irrational fans on both sides of the argument. I rarely listen to sports radio but turned it on briefly yesterday and pretty much every caller wanted Zappe in there. Hell there’s a post in this thread comparing him to Drew freakin’ Brees, a HOFer who played for nearly two decades and has the 2nd most TD passes of all time. There’s close to a zero percent chance Zappe has Brees’ career, and making that comparison after two games is beyond absurd, yet here we are.
I'm not saying that Zappe is going to have Drew Brees's career. Even Drew Brees in 2002 wouldn't have projected to end up as Hall of Famer Drew Brees. However, the skillset that I've seen (in an admittedly small sample size) is pretty similar to Brees's first year as a starter in San Diego in terms of pocket awareness, arm strength, accuracy and physical traits. Similar type of record-setting success in college. Same questions about arm strength and mobility and some head-scratching moments of not seeing open guys.

You know who else compared Zappe to Brees? Tyson Helton, Head Coach at Western Kentucky: https://patriotswire.usatoday.com/2022/05/03/patriots-bailey-zappe-drew-brees-draft-comparison/
 
Last edited:

Ralphwiggum

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Mike Lombardi said on his podcast that there would be no quarterback controversy in NE with BB as coach because he will "always go with starting a player who brings his team the best chance to win," Right now, it's Zappe. Lombardi also stated that Bill's players totally agree with that sentiment in terms of starting the player who gives the team the best chance to win.
Is this your opinion or is this what Lombardi said he thinks BB will do? I’d actually be kind of shocked if Mac doesn’t get his job back even if Zappe plays Monday against the Bears and plays well again, but who knows.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I'm not saying that Zappe is going to have Drew Brees's career. Even Drew Brees in 2002 wouldn't have projected to end up as Hall of Famer Drew Brees. However, the skillset that I've seen (in an admittedly small sample size) is pretty similar to Brees's first year as a starter in San Diego in terms of pocket awareness, arm strength, accuracy and physical traits. Similar type of record-setting success in college. Same questions about arm strength and mobility and some head-scratching moments of not seeing open guys.

You know who else compared Zappe to Brees? Tyson Helton, Head Coach at Western Kentucky: https://patriotswire.usatoday.com/2022/05/03/patriots-bailey-zappe-drew-brees-draft-comparison/
Fair enough.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Is this your opinion or is this what Lombardi said he thinks BB will do? I’d actually be kind of shocked if Mac doesn’t get his job back even if Zappe plays Monday against the Bears and plays well again, but who knows.
I hear the pod and it’s what Lombardi said BB will do. And according to Lombardi it’s not even close
 

lexrageorge

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I wasn't around for the Bledsoe/Brady controversy, but I understand the emotional attachment people had to Drew, I don't really get why so many fans just seem to love Mac Jones. The Patriots subreddit in particular talks of the guy as if he had led the team to 8 Super Bowls. What am I missing here? Sure, there's a significant chance Mac comes back as a starter, plays well, and makes this Zappe discussion seem silly in hindsight, but I don't think he's shown enough to make me be so protective of him as a fan. I think his skillset is perfectly comparable to Zappe's.
I cannot speak to the Pats subreddit, as I have generally a very low opinion of what I read on most sports fan subreddits. But I have a very clear memory of the pre-Bledsoe, Bledsoe, and Brady eras, so I will offer my $0.02:

- Bledsoe came in very hyped; was #1 overall draft pick. He and Parcells returned the Patriots to a level of respectability that had not been experienced by Patriots fans in the past, who were used to the team being an outright laughingstock across the entire league. Anyone who tells you that the pre-Bledsoe era wasn't that bad really doesn't know what they are talking about.

- Even the most ardent Drew defenders realized that the Bledsoe of 2000-01 was not the nearly same player as the Bledsoe of 1994-99. While there were definite Brady camps and Bledsoe camps among the fanbase, Brady was still good enough that only a handful of fans (and Ron Borges) were truly upset when Brady was named the full-time starter.

- Mac Jones had an above average season for a rookie QB. If you look at just his rookie year, he arguably had the best season of the highly touted QB Class of 2021.

- I think most fans expected Mac Jones to also be somewhat of a development project. As good as Alabama is, it is still a huge adjustment to playing equal or better quality opponents every single Sunday. He instantly seized the starter's job (from a washed up Newton, but still) and acquitted himself well.

- He's had 3 meh-to-lousy games this season. So did the rest of the team on both sides of the ball. Whether those 3 games represent the true ceiling of Mac Jones, or whether they were just part of the non-linear progress a typical NFL QB makes during his development, is as of yet unknown to even the most knowledgeable of fans and stat huggers.

- As promising as Zappe has been, he has not yet shown himself to be better than 2nd year Mac Jones.

- Benching Mac for Zappe as the full time starter at this point is likely to create all sorts of complications that the team does not need.

Put it all together and there is no reason for Mac to not get his job back. Now, if his next 5-6 games are as bad as the first 3, then there may be a conversation to be had about who the starter should be. But franchises that yank young QB's from the starting lineup after a couple of mediocre games seldom taste success.

EDIT: Big disclaimer: Belichick has earned the benefit of the doubt for forgetting more football than the entire sum of SoSH knowledge. If he decides that Zappe should be the starter going forward, then I'll happily chalk up another L on my prediction scorecard.
 

BaseballJones

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Great post. I just want to comment on this point:

- Bledsoe came in very hyped; was #1 overall draft pick. He and Parcells returned the Patriots to a level of respectability that had not been experienced by Patriots fans in the past, who were used to the team being an outright laughingstock across the entire league. Anyone who tells you that the pre-Bledsoe era wasn't that bad really doesn't know what they are talking about.
I remember those days all too well. The four years prior to Bledsoe arriving:

1989: 5-11, -94 point differential
1990: 1-15, -265 point differential
1991: 6-10, -94 point differential
1992: 2-14, -158 point differential

I mean....that's godawful in every meaningful way. Parcells and Bledsoe arrive together and in 4 years they went to the Super Bowl.
 

Mooch

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I would say that Belichick is not worried about "complications" regarding a mid-season QB switch. This is the same guy who benched hometown hero Kosar for Testaverde with the Browns. And those guys were pretty much the same age at the time.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Great post. I just want to comment on this point:



I remember those days all too well. The four years prior to Bledsoe arriving:

1989: 5-11, -94 point differential
1990: 1-15, -265 point differential
1991: 6-10, -94 point differential
1992: 2-14, -158 point differential

I mean....that's godawful in every meaningful way. Parcells and Bledsoe arrive together and in 4 years they went to the Super Bowl.
It is incredible that they amassed a total of 14 wins in 4 years , then, a decade or so later they went 14-2 in back to back years.
 
Feb 19, 2015
5,068
Sam Darnold, after 3 seasons of play worse than Mac's rookie + 3 game sample, returned a 2nd, 4th and 6th. I believe Carolina was only getting 2 years of control with Darnold.

In the hypothetical where they trade Mac, they would get a haul.
I guess just for this reason alone, I'm really really hoping Zappe is the guy. Could you imagine adding a haul of draft picks into the picture with all the promise the young guys are showing now, and Zappe turning out to be legit, and all the cap space available next year?
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Great post. I just want to comment on this point:



I remember those days all too well. The four years prior to Bledsoe arriving:

1989: 5-11, -94 point differential
1990: 1-15, -265 point differential
1991: 6-10, -94 point differential
1992: 2-14, -158 point differential

I mean....that's godawful in every meaningful way. Parcells and Bledsoe arrive together and in 4 years they went to the Super Bowl.
Exactly and it was somehow…worse. There was such a confluence of negativity and bad press around those years that the media was seemingly openly campaigning for the team to move, and the fan base for the most part didn’t seem to care. Orthwein bought the team and hired Parcells with the expressed intent of moving the team to St Louis. However, Parcells (and to an extent Bledsoe) gave them instant legitimacy and they started selling out every game, and as we all know Kraft eventually out-maneuvered Orthwein.
 

E5 Yaz

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Kyed breaks down the Zappe Train. Those with the Fever best not read, but here's a tidbit

A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


Spoiler'd for length
BAILEY ZAPPE’S FUTURE AS A STARTER
AFC personnel exec: Selling
The New England Patriots are 2-0 with rookie Bailey Zappe as their starting quarterback, and head coach Bill Belichick isn’t guaranteeing, at least publicly, that Mac Jones will get his job back when healthy.
That seems to be a message for Jones to not get complacent in his recovery from a high ankle sprain. Even if there’s not an actual quarterback competition in New England, it’s best if Jones believes there is, since competition is always a good thing at any position.
The Patriots were 1-2 with Jones at the helm this season. They also lost a game against the Green Bay Packers in overtime that Brian Hoyer started but left in the first quarter with a concussion, giving way to Zappe.
The rookie currently leads the NFL in passer rating (111.4). He’s 12th among qualified quarterbacks with a 72.7 offensive grade and eighth with a 77.0 passing grade. His 81.8% adjusted completion percentage ranks second, and he’s tied with Daniel Jones as PFF’s highest-graded passer using play action, with a 91.9 mark. He has the second-lowest turnover-worthy play rate in the NFL, behind only the Tampa Bay BuccaneersTom Brady.
Overall, he’s been one of the most surprising stories in the NFL. It came as a shock that he was selected as high as he was in the 2022 NFL Draft, one round before the Washington Commanders picked Sam Howell.
But the Patriots have also played it safe with Zappe.
    • His 18.4% screen rate is second-highest among quarterbacks.
    • He hasn’t been charted with a single big-time throw.
    • His 6.7-yard average depth of target is fourth-lowest in the league, and his 8.6% deep-ball percentage ranks sixth-lowest in the NFL.
    • The Patriots have used play-action on 31.6% of his dropbacks.
Meanwhile, Mac Jones ranks 32nd in screen rate at the position. He has the second-highest big-time throw rate and the fourth-highest turnover-worthy play rate in the NFL. His 10.4% ADOT ranks second behind Jameis Winston, and he’s attempted the highest percentage of deep balls in the NFL, at a 20.6% clip. New England used play action on only 10.8% of his dropbacks.
Jones came out swinging this season, proving he wasn’t going to dink and dunk like he did as a rookie, and the results were mixed. Zappe has played the safe approach and won.
New England is tailoring its offense to make it palatable for Zappe, and the team has been pleased with his progress. They believe he’s settled in over the last 2.5 games and is starting to let his talent show.
But they could also make things a little easier on Jones once he returns by leaning more heavily on play action and screens. And he could take fewer risks. New England is 28th in RPO rate so far this season, as well.
A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”
Zappe is in the first year of a four-year rookie contract, and he’s cheap and valuable depth. So, a trade is likely years away anyway.
Another source actually compared Zappe to former Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, who played well in reserve for Aaron Rodgers back in 2011 and signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. It would not be shocking to see Zappe get other starting opportunities, even if that doesn’t come with New England.
Jones was close enough to play this week to at least make the trip to Cleveland. It’s tough to turn away from Zappe after he’s led New England to a 2-0 record, but the Patriots also invested a top-15 pick in Jones a year ago, and he was far and away the NFL’s best rookie quarterback in 2021 while playing a similar style as Zappe with a higher play-action rate, lower big-time throw and turnover-worthy play rates, a more shallow ADOT, limited deep-ball attempts and more screens.
The biggest lesson here is that more NFL teams should take the Patriots’ approach to drafting quarterbacks even when they’re not needed. They’ve traded Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Jarrett Stidham over the past five years, and Zappe could be the next quarterback dealt as long as he doesn’t permanently take Jones’ job.
 

Shelterdog

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Wow, well, that would be something.
I heard the podcast too and had a slightly different interpretation. I don't disagree that he said what folks say he said or that the logical inference is that BB would start over Jones, but I just don't think he really was trying to convey that. Lombardi to be saying BB will play the QB who's playing best and he said as a bit of a quick throwaway [before he went into an extended comical tirade about people criticizing BB's drafts] that right now that's zappe--I think the big point for Lombardi is that BB doesn't give a fudge about draft position etc and will bench a starter regardless of draft position and wouldn't hesitate to start Zappe over Jones if he thought Zappe was better, but not that that's the choice BB would make in the next couple weeks.
 

Mooch

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A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


I'm not saying he's wrong. However, isn't "smart, consistent and runs the offense well" exactly what you want in a QB? What else would make Zappe a "real guy"?

If I was an owner interviewing a personnel executive in the NFL, I would run far, far away from a dude who give me this kind of "analysis."

EDIT: On the flip side, is this:

New England is tailoring its offense to make it palatable for Zappe, and the team has been pleased with his progress. They believe he’s settled in over the last 2.5 games and is starting to let his talent show.
 

Van Everyman

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Kyed breaks down the Zappe Train. Those with the Fever best not read, but here's a tidbit

A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


Spoiler'd for length
BAILEY ZAPPE’S FUTURE AS A STARTER
AFC personnel exec: Selling
The New England Patriots are 2-0 with rookie Bailey Zappe as their starting quarterback, and head coach Bill Belichick isn’t guaranteeing, at least publicly, that Mac Jones will get his job back when healthy.
That seems to be a message for Jones to not get complacent in his recovery from a high ankle sprain. Even if there’s not an actual quarterback competition in New England, it’s best if Jones believes there is, since competition is always a good thing at any position.
The Patriots were 1-2 with Jones at the helm this season. They also lost a game against the Green Bay Packers in overtime that Brian Hoyer started but left in the first quarter with a concussion, giving way to Zappe.
The rookie currently leads the NFL in passer rating (111.4). He’s 12th among qualified quarterbacks with a 72.7 offensive grade and eighth with a 77.0 passing grade. His 81.8% adjusted completion percentage ranks second, and he’s tied with Daniel Jones as PFF’s highest-graded passer using play action, with a 91.9 mark. He has the second-lowest turnover-worthy play rate in the NFL, behind only the Tampa Bay BuccaneersTom Brady.
Overall, he’s been one of the most surprising stories in the NFL. It came as a shock that he was selected as high as he was in the 2022 NFL Draft, one round before the Washington Commanders picked Sam Howell.
But the Patriots have also played it safe with Zappe.
    • His 18.4% screen rate is second-highest among quarterbacks.
    • He hasn’t been charted with a single big-time throw.
    • His 6.7-yard average depth of target is fourth-lowest in the league, and his 8.6% deep-ball percentage ranks sixth-lowest in the NFL.
    • The Patriots have used play-action on 31.6% of his dropbacks.
Meanwhile, Mac Jones ranks 32nd in screen rate at the position. He has the second-highest big-time throw rate and the fourth-highest turnover-worthy play rate in the NFL. His 10.4% ADOT ranks second behind Jameis Winston, and he’s attempted the highest percentage of deep balls in the NFL, at a 20.6% clip. New England used play action on only 10.8% of his dropbacks.
Jones came out swinging this season, proving he wasn’t going to dink and dunk like he did as a rookie, and the results were mixed. Zappe has played the safe approach and won.
New England is tailoring its offense to make it palatable for Zappe, and the team has been pleased with his progress. They believe he’s settled in over the last 2.5 games and is starting to let his talent show.
But they could also make things a little easier on Jones once he returns by leaning more heavily on play action and screens. And he could take fewer risks. New England is 28th in RPO rate so far this season, as well.
A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”
Zappe is in the first year of a four-year rookie contract, and he’s cheap and valuable depth. So, a trade is likely years away anyway.
Another source actually compared Zappe to former Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, who played well in reserve for Aaron Rodgers back in 2011 and signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. It would not be shocking to see Zappe get other starting opportunities, even if that doesn’t come with New England.
Jones was close enough to play this week to at least make the trip to Cleveland. It’s tough to turn away from Zappe after he’s led New England to a 2-0 record, but the Patriots also invested a top-15 pick in Jones a year ago, and he was far and away the NFL’s best rookie quarterback in 2021 while playing a similar style as Zappe with a higher play-action rate, lower big-time throw and turnover-worthy play rates, a more shallow ADOT, limited deep-ball attempts and more screens.
The biggest lesson here is that more NFL teams should take the Patriots’ approach to drafting quarterbacks even when they’re not needed. They’ve traded Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Jarrett Stidham over the past five years, and Zappe could be the next quarterback dealt as long as he doesn’t permanently take Jones’ job.
I was actually just thinking this am about how Bill turned one season of Matt Cassel (under center for an all-time talented team) and a decrepit Mike Vrabel into a second rounder that became Patrick Chung (FWIW, according to Schefter, Bill almost got a first round pick by making a three-way deal with Tampa and Denver including Jay Cutler). But yes, the idea of Bill using this showcase to grow Zappe's value does seem like one possibility here.
 

Shelterdog

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A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


I'm not saying he's wrong. However, isn't "smart, consistent and runs the offense well" exactly what you want in a QB? What else would make Zappe a "real guy"?

If I was an owner interviewing a personnel executive in the NFL, I would run far, far away from a dude who give me this kind of "analysis."
Being able to throw the football at a very high level. Others are seeing how he plays differently and the sample size is small but his arm strength and accuracy both appear to be marginal to me for an NFL QB.
 

Mooch

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Being able to throw the football at a very high level. Others are seeing how he plays differently and the sample size is small but his arm strength and accuracy both appear to be marginal to me for an NFL QB.
Marginal accuracy?

73% completions in 2.5 games with one INT that wasn't even his fault?
 

E5 Yaz

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Being able to throw the football at a very high level. Others are seeing how he plays differently and the sample size is small but his arm strength and accuracy both appear to be marginal to me for an NFL QB.
There's also tape on him now against (admittedly weak) NFL defenses. Other teams can see what they have him doing (see Kyed's note on play-action and screen rates) and can plan accordingly.
 
Feb 19, 2015
5,068
A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


I'm not saying he's wrong. However, isn't "smart, consistent and runs the offense well" exactly what you want in a QB? What else would make Zappe a "real guy"?

If I was an owner interviewing a personnel executive in the NFL, I would run far, far away from a dude who give me this kind of "analysis."

EDIT: On the flip side, is this:

New England is tailoring its offense to make it palatable for Zappe, and the team has been pleased with his progress. They believe he’s settled in over the last 2.5 games and is starting to let his talent show.
I was thinking the same thing as you. Smart, consistent, and runs the offense well? Yes please.

The other weird thing is the assertion that teams should do like the Patriots and draft QBs even when they don't need them so they can eventually trade them. I mean sure, but only if they value you get from them as a player combined with the value of the picks you get when you trade them exceed the value of the pick used to select them. I'm not sure that is true in all the examples they listed: Jimmy G, Brissett, and Stidham.
 

BusRaker

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If Belichick the GM is looking for value for Zappe does he start Mac against a team only allowing 178 passing yards a game?
Of course Belichick the Coach will start whoever he thinks will give the team a better chance to win so that's what will happen.
First-world NFL franchise problems ...
 

Silverdude2167

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A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


I'm not saying he's wrong. However, isn't "smart, consistent and runs the offense well" exactly what you want in a QB? What else would make Zappe a "real guy"?

If I was an owner interviewing a personnel executive in the NFL, I would run far, far away from a dude who give me this kind of "analysis."

EDIT: On the flip side, is this:

New England is tailoring its offense to make it palatable for Zappe, and the team has been pleased with his progress. They believe he’s settled in over the last 2.5 games and is starting to let his talent show.
I am in no way comparing Zappe to Brady with what I am about to say.

But put that executive 21 years in the past and he is saying the same thing about Brady.
It has become very clear that most NFL execs do not know how to evaluate a QB beyond the obvious traits and if you don't have those but have some of those harder-to-see soft skills that are also really important, they will say you are trash till the player proves them wrong multiple times.
 

Shelterdog

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Marginal accuracy?

73% completions in 2.5 games with one INT that wasn't even his fault?
Yes. IMO he's completed a lot of high percentage passes, he's had some GREAT passes, and he's had some floaters that end up being ok because folks were so wide open (the Smith long RAC comes to mind).
 

DJnVa

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If Belichick the GM is looking for value for Zappe does he start Mac against a team only allowing 178 passing yards a game?
There needs to be some context around that 178 yards.

Game 1: Trey Lance in a rainstorm.
Game 3: Gimpy Daniel Jones only attempts 13 passes for 71 yards.
Game 5: Wentz, who's...not good.

Against Rodgers and Davis Mills they gave up an average of about 230 yards.
 

E5 Yaz

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Marginal accuracy?

73% completions in 2.5 games with one INT that wasn't even his fault?
A key will be how he performs once defenses start clamping down on the types of routes that he's shown he can throw consistently. Defenses adapt; when they do, how Zappe adjusts to those changes will be telling.

It's like a rookie hitter who shows he can hit major league fastballs. Pitchers then feed him breaking stuff until he proves he can hit those.
 

Jimbodandy

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There needs to be some context around that 178 yards.

Game 1: Trey Lance in a rainstorm.
Game 3: Gimpy Daniel Jones only attempts 13 passes for 71 yards.
Game 5: Wentz, who's...not good.

Against Rodgers and Davis Mills they gave up an average of about 230 yards.
Point taken about context. 230 yards is still not that much.
 

SMU_Sox

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Kyed breaks down the Zappe Train. Those with the Fever best not read, but here's a tidbit

A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”


Spoiler'd for length
BAILEY ZAPPE’S FUTURE AS A STARTER
AFC personnel exec: Selling
The New England Patriots are 2-0 with rookie Bailey Zappe as their starting quarterback, and head coach Bill Belichick isn’t guaranteeing, at least publicly, that Mac Jones will get his job back when healthy.
That seems to be a message for Jones to not get complacent in his recovery from a high ankle sprain. Even if there’s not an actual quarterback competition in New England, it’s best if Jones believes there is, since competition is always a good thing at any position.
The Patriots were 1-2 with Jones at the helm this season. They also lost a game against the Green Bay Packers in overtime that Brian Hoyer started but left in the first quarter with a concussion, giving way to Zappe.
The rookie currently leads the NFL in passer rating (111.4). He’s 12th among qualified quarterbacks with a 72.7 offensive grade and eighth with a 77.0 passing grade. His 81.8% adjusted completion percentage ranks second, and he’s tied with Daniel Jones as PFF’s highest-graded passer using play action, with a 91.9 mark. He has the second-lowest turnover-worthy play rate in the NFL, behind only the Tampa Bay BuccaneersTom Brady.
Overall, he’s been one of the most surprising stories in the NFL. It came as a shock that he was selected as high as he was in the 2022 NFL Draft, one round before the Washington Commanders picked Sam Howell.
But the Patriots have also played it safe with Zappe.
    • His 18.4% screen rate is second-highest among quarterbacks.
    • He hasn’t been charted with a single big-time throw.
    • His 6.7-yard average depth of target is fourth-lowest in the league, and his 8.6% deep-ball percentage ranks sixth-lowest in the NFL.
    • The Patriots have used play-action on 31.6% of his dropbacks.
Meanwhile, Mac Jones ranks 32nd in screen rate at the position. He has the second-highest big-time throw rate and the fourth-highest turnover-worthy play rate in the NFL. His 10.4% ADOT ranks second behind Jameis Winston, and he’s attempted the highest percentage of deep balls in the NFL, at a 20.6% clip. New England used play action on only 10.8% of his dropbacks.
Jones came out swinging this season, proving he wasn’t going to dink and dunk like he did as a rookie, and the results were mixed. Zappe has played the safe approach and won.
New England is tailoring its offense to make it palatable for Zappe, and the team has been pleased with his progress. They believe he’s settled in over the last 2.5 games and is starting to let his talent show.
But they could also make things a little easier on Jones once he returns by leaning more heavily on play action and screens. And he could take fewer risks. New England is 28th in RPO rate so far this season, as well.
A high-ranking AFC personnel executive believes New England’s fourth-round investment in Zappe will eventually pay off.
“I think they trick someone into a draft pick for him,” he said. “I think he’s smart, consistent and runs the offense well. He’s not a real guy, in my opinion.”
Zappe is in the first year of a four-year rookie contract, and he’s cheap and valuable depth. So, a trade is likely years away anyway.
Another source actually compared Zappe to former Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, who played well in reserve for Aaron Rodgers back in 2011 and signed a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. It would not be shocking to see Zappe get other starting opportunities, even if that doesn’t come with New England.
Jones was close enough to play this week to at least make the trip to Cleveland. It’s tough to turn away from Zappe after he’s led New England to a 2-0 record, but the Patriots also invested a top-15 pick in Jones a year ago, and he was far and away the NFL’s best rookie quarterback in 2021 while playing a similar style as Zappe with a higher play-action rate, lower big-time throw and turnover-worthy play rates, a more shallow ADOT, limited deep-ball attempts and more screens.
The biggest lesson here is that more NFL teams should take the Patriots’ approach to drafting quarterbacks even when they’re not needed. They’ve traded Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Jarrett Stidham over the past five years, and Zappe could be the next quarterback dealt as long as he doesn’t permanently take Jones’ job.
Thank you for posting this. I think Kyed summarizes the situation well. There is value in a guy who can run a conservative gameplan well but if they can get a pick out of him down the road (think a 2nd or 3rd) they should do it. That's tough to say after the guy has executed well but Belichickian. Or, who knows, maybe he becomes their long term backup. I largely agree with what this exec is saying.

As an aside for those who don't remember Kyed now works for PFF which is probably one reason for the BTT reference. I still owe @Kenny F'ing Powers a review to see why the back shoulder fade to Parker didn't count. That was a damn good throw.
 

Shelterdog

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Thank you for posting this. I think Kyed summarizes the situation well. There is value in a guy who can run a conservative gameplan well but if they can get a pick out of him down the road (think a 2nd or 3rd) they should do it. That's tough to say after the guy has executed well but Belichickian. Or, who knows, maybe he becomes their long term backup. I largely agree with what this exec is saying.

As an aside for those who don't remember Kyed now works for PFF which is probably one reason for the BTT reference. I still owe @Kenny F'ing Powers a review to see why the back shoulder fade to Parker didn't count. That was a damn good throw.
I'm not sure you do trade him for a second or a third at the end of this year. Even if you're a hundred percent committed to Mac s your starter, a very good backup at a fourth round rookie salary for two seasons is very valuable. (Remember even a terrible backup like Hoyer is a 2 million dollar a year player). You have to think a lot hard about what to do after his second or especially third season, but that's a long way away.
 

FL4WL3SS

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1. Pats spent a first round pick on him, the highest they’ve drafted a QB in the BB era.
2. He had a very good rookie year, leading them to 10 wins and a playoff spot, and generally played pretty well for a rookie.
3. Despite looking like he regressed in early, limited action this year, he shouldn’t lose his job to a rookie who (at this point) isn’t clearly better than him.

I’m not on Reddit so I can’t speak to why fans would have an emotional attachment to Mac, but I can understand why fans would want to see him back in there once he’s healthy. Personally I think it’s the right call, but I’m glad BB is the one making the decision and I’m fine either way.

As I mentioned in one of the threads on Sunday, the QB controversy stuff was inevitable after Sunday, and there are going to be irrational fans on both sides of the argument. I rarely listen to sports radio but turned it on briefly yesterday and pretty much every caller wanted Zappe in there. Hell there’s a post in this thread comparing him to Drew freakin’ Brees, a HOFer who played for nearly two decades and has the 2nd most TD passes of all time. There’s close to a zero percent chance Zappe has Brees’ career, and making that comparison after two games is beyond absurd, yet here we are.
But the regression isn't just the first three games this year - he's on about a 8-10 game regression. He was really good for 2/3 of the season and then fell off and then started this season very poorly.
 

reggiecleveland

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Mike Lombardi said on his podcast that there would be no quarterback controversy in NE with BB as coach because he will "always go with starting a player who brings his team the best chance to win," Right now, it's Zappe. Lombardi also stated that Bill's players totally agree with that sentiment in terms of starting the player who gives the team the best chance to win.
Players agree with this because they think:
1. The best player is themselves. This idea is selfish. Players agree the coach should play the best player, but they all think they are the best player, and if the coach doesn't play them they are not playing the best player.
2. As it pertains to other players, if a guy doesn't play well and they lose, they just pass the buck to the coach who played the wrong guy, even if they thought he was the right guy 4 hours ago.
 

ponch73

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I guess just for this reason alone, I'm really really hoping Zappe is the guy. Could you imagine adding a haul of draft picks into the picture with all the promise the young guys are showing now, and Zappe turning out to be legit, and all the cap space available next year?
Let's trade Mac to the 49ers for 3 first rounders and a third rounder!

In all seriousness, it's probably worth continuing to roster both QB's. They're both young and cost-controlled, and neither are built like tanks to withstand the ferocity of opposing defensive linemen and linebackers. And Isaiah Wynn is still here, waiting with bated breath to get one of his QB's destroyed.
 
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BaseballJones

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As an aside for those who don't remember Kyed now works for PFF which is probably one reason for the BTT reference. I still owe @Kenny F'ing Powers a review to see why the back shoulder fade to Parker didn't count. That was a damn good throw.
I loved that throw but let's all remember that sometimes a back shoulder fade is actually a pass that was not accurate. QBs do sometimes "misthrow" and not on purpose. When a guy is streaking down the field, sometimes the QB overthrows a WR, and sometimes he under throws him. A good WR can sometimes recognize an under thrown ball and turn and catch it, and it looks like a well-executed back shoulder fade.
 

BaseballJones

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Let's trade Mac to the 49ers for 3 first rounders and a third rounder!

In all seriousness, it's probably worth continuing to roster both QB's. They're both young and cost-controlled, and neither are built like tanks to withstand the ferocity of opposing defensive linemen and linebackers.
There's zero need to trade either of them at this point. Shouldn't even be a consideration unless BB gets a godfather offer out of the blue one of these days.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think it's unlikely Zappe is "the guy", I think he just lacks the arm talent to be a top end starter. HOWEVER... I do think there is a small chance that Bill goes back to Mac when he's healthy and Bill ends up after the season deciding neither Zappe nor Mac is the guy, and as such makes a Mac trade because if you're going to not have "the guy" you are probably better off cashing in on the chance someone else sees him differently and moving on with your "can get the job done" backup while you look for "the guy"
 

Mooch

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The red zone throw at 14:22 is exactly what I like about Zappe. Ran the progression and made a decisive second read bullet throw for the TD. That's pretty special stuff from a guy making his second career start.
 

Jungleland

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But the regression isn't just the first three games this year - he's on about a 8-10 game regression. He was really good for 2/3 of the season and then fell off and then started this season very poorly.
As a trend, sure, but the Jags game - a somewhat close analog to the level of defensive competition seen in the Lions and Browns games other than the officialness of their season being over - was week 17. Usual ‘not pro one or the other’ caveats aside, I just think we need to be fair in trying to evaluate two games of BZ vs Mac.
 

8slim

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- Bledsoe came in very hyped; was #1 overall draft pick. He and Parcells returned the Patriots to a level of respectability that had not been experienced by Patriots fans in the past, who were used to the team being an outright laughingstock across the entire league. Anyone who tells you that the pre-Bledsoe era wasn't that bad really doesn't know what they are talking about.

- Even the most ardent Drew defenders realized that the Bledsoe of 2000-01 was not the nearly same player as the Bledsoe of 1994-99. While there were definite Brady camps and Bledsoe camps among the fanbase, Brady was still good enough that only a handful of fans (and Ron Borges) were truly upset when Brady was named the full-time starter.
The other critically important dynamic in the Bledsoe/Brady situation was that BB had already realized what he had in Brady, and that was a starting-caliber QB. There's lots of material about how in the staff's eyes Brady was equal to, if not better than, Bledsoe in the 2001 pre-season camp. Bledsoe's injury accelerated the timeline for sure, but it certainly seemed that absent an unlikely resurgence, Brady was going to become the starter either at some point in '01, or for '02. We just didn't know it at the time. But Bill did.

I haven't heard any such talk about Zappe. Not that there hasn't been any, but if it's happened it hasn't leaked out to the media.