March 4, 2024

Patriots

“I’m simply attempting to be the place my ft are and give attention to the Payments.”

Bailey Zappe is now 4-2 in his profession as a starter with the Patriots. (AP Picture/Bart Younger)

Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe appeared on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego” present Tuesday afternoon, referring to subjects like his efficiency in Sunday’s comeback win over the Broncos, his postgame embrace with Invoice Belichick, and way more.

Listed below are just a few highlights from Jones’ prolonged radio interview:

Incomes his spot?

For the fourth time in six profession begins with the Patriots, Bailey Zappe walked off the gridiron with a win on Sunday evening in Denver.

The second-year QB performed a key position in New England’s back-and-forth upset victory in opposition to the Broncos, finishing 25 of 33 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

After getting suffering from second-half woes in New England’s earlier two video games in opposition to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, Zappe managed to flip that script at Empower Subject at Mile Excessive, tossing each of his touchdowns within the third quarter whereas setting the stage for Chad Ryland’s 56-yard game-winner within the ultimate minute of play.

With the rating tied at 23-23, Zappe and New England received the ball again on the Patriots’ 19-yard line with 58 seconds left to play. Zappe then hit DeVante Parker, Ezekiel Elliott, and Mike Gesicki for 36 mixed yards to place his workforce in discipline objective vary.

Since dropping a 6-0 loss to the Chargers on Dec. 3, Zappe has gone 2-1 in his final three video games, finishing 72.8% of his passes for 676 yards, six touchdowns, two picks, and a 106.1 passer ranking throughout these three video games.

On Tuesday, Zappe was requested if he thinks he’s earned the suitable to enter the 2024 season because the workforce’s beginning QB.

“Proper now, I’m simply attempting to be the place my ft are and give attention to the Payments,” Zappe stated. “I’m certain these conversations and issues like that may occur within the offseason or after the Jets sport, and I’ll speak about that then. However proper now, I’m actually targeted on the Payments and simply attempting to get these guys down, as a result of they’re a heck of a workforce. They’ve been rolling, so it’s going to be a problem for us offensively to play in opposition to these guys.”

After all, Zappe’s spot on the depth chart subsequent season is perhaps out of his management — particularly if New England lands a blue-chip quarterback prospect by way of the 2024 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, the Patriots may very well be on the surface trying in at an opportunity to snag a university QB like USC’s Caleb Williams or UNC’s Drake Maye in April, particularly after hurting their draft odds with Sunday’s win.

No matter no matter strikes New England makes so far as its QB depth is worried, Zappe feels his confidence has continued to develop underneath heart with every new begin that he’s earned.

“The extra reps and additional reps we get earlier than and after observe, whether or not it’s the receivers, with the o-line, and the working backs and cross safety — the extra I get with these guys, I believe the extra snug we’re all going to get collectively,” Zappe stated. “The extra snug I’m going to get with the system, over time, after all.

“The extra we play in it, the higher you’re. So far as confidence and every thing, that comes from my teammates and people guys. Talking on the O-line, they performed phenomenal this previous sport… It’s been a protracted 12 months; excited to be the place we’re at now. I do know we’re enjoying a tricky workforce within the Payments, however excited to play them.”

Protection steps up 

Regardless of Zappe’s robust end on Sunday evening, issues may have gone off the rails in a rush in opposition to the Broncos.

On New England’s first play on offense, Zappe fumbled the ball whereas dropping again — permitting Denver to take over on the Patriots’ six-yard line. Regardless of the expensive miscue, the Patriots’ protection bailed Zappe out, stopping the Broncos on 4 straight performs to power a turnover on downs.

“It’s fairly superior to be an offensive participant and to look at your protection go on the market and play the best way they did,” Zappe stated of New England’s protection. “Simply talking from the primary play — have a fumble, they get the ball… I imply, they’re contained in the 10-yard line or no matter it was. And for them to have the ability to cease them on 4 downs and switch the ball over on downs and actually not have any factors come off that turnover is fairly superior.

“I imply, these guys have been nice all 12 months, it doesn’t matter what offense, they’ve been in a position to play. They all the time come to play and so they all the time present up and for an offense to have a protection like that, it sort of lifts a weight off your shoulder as a result of you realize these guys are gonna go on the market and so they’re gonna play their butts off. They usually’re gonna do every thing they will to assist us win these video games.”

A postgame hug 

After serving to New England come away with a highway victory over the Steelers on Dec. 7, Zappe earned a firm handshake from Bill Belichick in the visiting locker room

The postgame response following New England’s Christmas Eve triumph in Denver was a bit extra jovial between Zappe and his head coach, with Zappe giving Belichick a hug after making his means into the locker room. 

“The handshake factor, I advised him after I walked in after the Broncos sport, he reached out for the handshake, and I used to be like, ‘Coach, no extra handshakes. Let’s go for a hug,’” Zappe stated Tuesday of his embrace with Belichick. “In order that’s sort of how that every one occurred.”

It’s been an up-and-down season for Zappe in New England, particularly after the workforce opted to launch him on the finish of coaching camp.

However Zappe burdened on Tuesday that he’s all the time maintained a “nice relationship” with Belichick and New England’s teaching workers.

“I’ve all the time been in a position to stroll into his workplace, ask him questions, and he’s all the time been very open to answering something that I had questions on,” Zappe stated of Belichick, including: “I come into the constructing day-after-day blissful to have the ability to be taught from him and sort of simply be a sponge and take heed to every thing he has to say concerning the entirety of the sport of soccer.”

A Christmas present

As is custom throughout the NFL, quarterbacks often fork over a hefty chunk of change each Christmas season to get some sought-after items for his or her offensive linemen.

Previously, Tom Brady gifted the massive males tasked with defending him UGG boots, Canada Goose winter jackets, iPads, and watches. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson gave his O-line Rolex watches in 2019, whereas Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes gave his grouping customized golf carts final week. 

So what did Zappe give New England’s O-line this vacation season?

“It’s nothing loopy,” Zappe started. “I received every one a pack of 4 Davidoff cigars. From what I’ve heard, everyone has loved them. I don’t suppose anyone has smoked them but, however they’ve earlier than. And everyone cherished the present. However you realize, it’s nothing massive. I advised them it was quick discover, so I wasn’t in a position to get nothing too massive. However all of them stated it was the thought that counts.”

“It was superior to deal with these guys,” he added. “They’ve been working their butts off all 12 months to maintain us clear. They usually’ve been doing an exceptional job.”