Pats select Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe at 137

Curt S Loew

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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"
So who's the starting QB? Testaverde?
 

Ralphwiggum

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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.
Ok, but I'm not sure that changes much of anything in terms of the argument for Mac. I'm not advocating for either guy really, I trust Bill. But despite the Lombardi report and Zappe's performance the last two games I don't think anyone should be surprised if Mac gets his job back when he's healthy.
 

Pandemonium67

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I don't think anybody should be surprised by whatever BB decides. Mac has more experience in the system, has shown he can win, and hasn't reached his ceiling yet. BZ has looked really good in his brief tenure, has shown he can win, and hasn't reached his ceiling yet. Where they were drafted is a non-factor. Salary and tradeability are small factors that I doubt BB will consider; he'll want to keep both.

One interesting factor is how BB will weigh the present versus the near future and longer future -- i.e., who's better positioned to win right now, this season, and in future seasons.
 

Garshaparra

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Where they were drafted is a non-factor. Salary and tradeability are small factors that I doubt BB will consider; he'll want to keep both.
If anything, Zappe has a small advantage here. As a 1st rounder, Mac's got 3 more years at very reasonable rates, but that 5th year option is a league-set value. Reviewing the numbers cited here , Mac would be due a 1 year guarantee of around $33M, and that's assuming he doesn't make another Pro Bowl. The figure cited for this year is $27M for QBs with one Pro Bowl appearance, and that's Mac. I'm figuring salary continues to grow, and a bump from the $27M a QB would get today is about 20% more, and honestly, that may be low. Obviously, neither gets traded for another year, but in the 23-24 offseason, they'll have some real mulling to do. What a nice thing to have to worry about though.
 

DJnVa

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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.
That's really not what happened though. It just depends where you put that game against Cleveland (19/23, 198 yards, 3/0 TD/INT). If we take that game out of equation, he was 89.8 in first 9 and 89.8 in last 7
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

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I'm not entirely sure they wouldn't trade one of them if they got a great offer, assuming they think the other is the guy. Maybe not, but it might be tough to turn down a great offer considering how much value it could provide in building the rest of the roster. I know BB didn't want to trade Jimmy G, but he had no idea Brady would age so well at that time. He had no issues trading Bledsoe once he was sure Brady was the guy. (Of course, Bledsoe also had a huge salary and that was a factor.)
 

rodderick

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That's really not what happened though. It just depends where you put that game against Cleveland (19/23, 198 yards, 3/0 TD/INT). If we take that game out of equation, he was 89.8 in first 9 and 89.8 in last 7
It is what happened. Starting with the first game against the Bills in Week 13 of last year, he's made 9 starts, with 10 TDs and 12 INTs and a passer rating in the mid 70s, including playoffs. He was okay the first five weeks, fantastic from the Dallas game up until the the Tennessee game, and below average ever since.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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With Zappe at the helm, how many first rounders could we get for Jones: 3, 4, or more?
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.
You're recertified!
 

djbayko

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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.
From what I’ve seen, the subreddit is very fanboyish, isn’t it? That’s one reason I don’t bother visiting it. I don’t think it should be surprising that people there are salivating over a player who was a high draft pick and has shown promise (was possibly ROY if Chase didn’t have an absolute monster game at end of season to break multiple records).
 

Arroyoyo

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Another Zappe film breakdown...this one from Kurt Warner.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6ZrCNMVuRU
I was just going to share this. It’s a pretty great breakdown and confirmation of Zappe seeing the field well, processing coverages very fast, and knowing pre-snap what to expect from the defense (especially LBs and safeties).

At 22:55 you really see how quickly Zappe works through his progression. It’s kind of crazy for a rookie to not try to force that throw on the rub route, which often ends up in a pick. Zappe moved on from that read super quick for the TD over the middle.

Warner is excited about Zappe, and honestly so am I. This kid knows how to play the position.

Yes, the offense has been “simplified,” but he understands what’s happening on the field. He can read coverages very well. 11:15 is another great example of this; the pass is incomplete, but he quickly identifies press coverage jamming both routes to the right so he attempts to throw his receiver open to the left.
 

johnmd20

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Warner is excited about Zappe, and honestly so am I. This kid knows how to play the position.
I know it was Western Kentucky and all but his college stats are comically incredible. You don't throw for 6000 yards in 14 games if you don't have the ability to perform.

I love Zappe. I am not done with Mac but he's been playing for over a year now and he's been decent to fine. But his arm is a noodle relative to what is required. But Zappe also beat up on Detroit and Cleveland. You couldn't have two better teams to start your career against.

But I want more Zappe. I would love to see how he would do against the Bears. But he might not play. Zap zap zap.
 

brandonchristensen

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I know it was Western Kentucky and all but his college stats are comically incredible. You don't throw for 6000 yards in 14 games if you don't have the ability to perform.

I love Zappe. I am not done with Mac but he's been playing for over a year now and he's been decent to fine. But his arm is a noodle relative to what is required. But Zappe also beat up on Detroit and Cleveland. You couldn't have two better teams to start your career against.

But I want more Zappe. I would love to see how he would do against the Bears. But he might not play. Zap zap zap.
Feels like one more Zappe would be ideal. Sucks for Mac, but it is what it is. Play the hot hand.

The season, IMO, was done when Mac went out - don't boot the guy that gave the team life. Not yet.
 
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Are people still under the impression that there’s a chance Zappe will play Monday? From what I’ve read about the practice reps and who Mac took them with, those chances are slim and none and slim just left town.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Kid is throwing with confidence and decisive. It's actually very striking to see in contrast to just how bad Mac had gotten.
Meh. I'm not trying to be sparky, but if you go back and watch his shitty throws last week, they were decisive as well.

I used to be able to see a Brady throw and know if it was a good one just based on his decisiveness on release. It's really weird to watch...whatever this is.
 

Cellar-Door

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Meh. I'm not trying to be sparky, but if you go back and watch his shitty throws last week, they were decisive as well.

I used to be able to see a Brady throw and know if it was a good one just based on his decisiveness on release. It's really weird to watch...whatever this is.
I don't think he's saying he's good. He's shitty, but not broken, and that's a big upgrade on shitty AND broken.
 

jose melendez

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What jumped out to me is that Zappe, unlike Mac, is capable of stepping up on the pocket and seems to be generally aware of where both receivers and defenders are. His deep ball is okay, but he's pretty inaccurate on short and midrange throws.

He is absolutely, positively not a starter, but tonight suggested he's at least as good as Trubisky, which is to say, a bad NFL player, but an NFL player nevertheless.
 

Arroyoyo

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Agreed on all of the above.

But we saw last year he was way, way better in the pocket than Mac. Thats not saying much, but we saw it last year.
 

rodderick

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I don't think he's saying he's good. He's shitty, but not broken, and that's a big upgrade on shitty AND broken.
Right. He's replacing a guy who not only sucks, but has been physically scared of the act of throwing a football. Zappe is a fringe NFL player at best, but he did alright versus a good defense throwing to the worst collection of pass catchers they've had in a while simply because he didn't turtle in the pocket and actually threw the ball down the field a little bit. That's how low the bar has been set.
 

lexrageorge

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Zappe against Pittsburgh:

First half: 14-21, 196 yards, 3 TDs, 1 sack, 9.33 y/a, 14 y/c
2nd half: 5-7, 44 yards, 1 sack, 1 interception, 6.3 y/a, 8.8 y/c

Definitely regressed a bit in the 2nd half. But some of that may have been due to the play calling. O'Brien dialed up 23 passes (one was negated by penalty) and 11 rushes (although one of those was a scramble by Zappe) in the first half. 2nd half saw 9 pass plays (includes one negated by a penalty) against 14 runs (including the Zappe butt push). So it's a bit hard to assess Zappe's 2nd half.

Looking at the non-scoring drives by the Pats:

- 1st half: OPI on a 3rd down pass wiped out a nice completion and set up the eventual punt.
- 1st*: 3 straight Zappe incompletions resulted in a punt.
- 1st: Zappe made a nice check-down on a 3rd and long to Zeke, who almost made it to the sticks. Punt.
- 1st: Pats started moving the ball, but then the play calling got real conservative (rightfully so with a 21-3 lead) to close out the half after Zappe was sacked and potentially injured.
- 2nd: Penalty and sack killed the drive. Punt.
- 2nd*: Bad decision leads to interception.
- 2nd*: Zappe couldn't convert 3rd down pass to Thornton. Punt.
- 2nd: Zappe completed 2 passes for 17 yards, but Bill played it conservative (too early, IMO) and punted on 4th-and-short.
- 2nd: 3 straight Zeke runs and punt as Bill decides to milk the clock.
- 2nd: I hate replay.

So, I see 3 drives that Zappe could be blamed for not converting to a score. Neither sack was his fault. And Bill took the ball out of his hands completely for most of the 4th.

It was good to see how he would do being part of the game plan from the outset for the 2nd straight week. He's not the QB of the future (3 bad interceptions this season in spot duty), but he was much more fun to watch. And Trubisky is a red flag for those (like myself) that want the Pats to select a QB high in the draft.
 

Super Nomario

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Meh. I'm not trying to be sparky, but if you go back and watch his shitty throws last week, they were decisive as well.

I used to be able to see a Brady throw and know if it was a good one just based on his decisiveness on release. It's really weird to watch...whatever this is.
It looks better when Zappe sets his feet and fires it two yards behind the crossing receiver than it did when Mac back footed it and threw two yards short. I'm not sure it actually is better, but it looks better.
 

Justthetippett

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It looks better when Zappe sets his feet and fires it two yards behind the crossing receiver than it did when Mac back footed it and threw two yards short. I'm not sure it actually is better, but it looks better.
What looks good with Zappe is avoiding the outside rush, climbing the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield. He also gets the ball out on time (most of the time). He'd obviously be even better with some better targets, which Browning benefitted from against Jax. Could the Pats be a .500 team with Zappe? Maybe. But that's purgatory.
 

Curt S Loew

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I would agree with all the sentiments here. I would also predict he would improve the more game reps he gets. At least I hope he would.

We know one guy that didn't.

He really should have gotten the reps much sooner. Might as well let him play. We knew what we had with Mac.
 

NomarsFool

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I felt like there was much more zip on his passes than what we've seen from Mac. I also liked the fact that he seems much more able to pick up a 1st down with his feet than Jone.
 

BaseballJones

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Mac would be incapable of throwing that second TD to Henry.
That throw was very similar to one that Mac had to Bourne either last year or the year before. Tight coverage, over a defender, where the receiver had to make a nice leaping church. Very similar throw in the same result.
 

Euclis20

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That throw was very similar to one that Mac had to Bourne either last year or the year before. Tight coverage, over a defender, where the receiver had to make a nice leaping church. Very similar throw in the same result.
I had that exact same thought, but even if Mac WAS capable of that kind of throw, I don't believe he's capable of making that throw today. He's currently broken, whether it's this year, his career in New England, or permanently as a QB.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Eye test bullshit is eye test bullshit. But when I've watched the offense with Mac this year, I've thought "why does our offense look different from all other NFL offenses except the Jets"? When I've watched Zappe, I think, "that looks correct; often shitty but correct." Thing is, I don't remember having that feeling with Mac in prior years. A little last year, but not nearly to the same degree.
 

Bowser

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Zappe looks like a guy who, with improvement, might carve out a 10-year career as a backup. He seems to see the field well-ish, has some scrambling ability, climbs the pocket, is decisive, has some swag, a quick release. Doubt we'd have made it to .500 with him, but maybe 6-7 wins? Interestingly, his arm strikes me as no better than Mac's, and it might actually be worse.
 

chilidawg

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Zappe looks like a guy who, with improvement, might carve out a 10-year career as a backup. He seems to see the field well-ish, has some scrambling ability, climbs the pocket, is decisive, has some swag, a quick release. Doubt we'd have made it to .500 with him, but maybe 6-7 wins? Interestingly, his arm strikes me as no better than Mac's, and it might actually be worse.
On a practice field his arm is probably no better than Mac's, but because his footwork is so much better his in game throws seem to have more zip on them.
 

ManicCompression

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That throw was very similar to one that Mac had to Bourne either last year or the year before. Tight coverage, over a defender, where the receiver had to make a nice leaping church. Very similar throw in the same result.
Are you talking about this one?

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaGdx7PIBWI


The level of difficulty of the Zappe throw was, IMO, considerably higher. To the outside, over the defender but not a jump ball, leading the receiver... I don't think Mac has the velocity to get it on a rope like that.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKk32WlSG5w
 

BaseballJones

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Eddie Jurak

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Last season I was 100% on team Mac >>>> Zappe. It's now time to admit being wrong.

I'm still not very high on Zappe, but for all of his faults he's a more fluid athlete who steps into his throws.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Last season I was 100% on team Mac >>>> Zappe. It's now time to admit being wrong.

I'm still not very high on Zappe, but for all of his faults he's a more fluid athlete who steps into his throws.
Well Zappe isn’t auditioning to be next years starter as much as a backup on some team or another, no?
Mac likely the same at best if he lucks out but out of the two Zappe is likelier to be a no.2 guy IMO