FOXBOROUGH – Bill Belichick didn’t tip his hand as to who will start at quarterback for the New England Patriots against the New York Jets on Sunday.
The Patriots coach was asked several times about the quarterback situation on Wednesday and didn’t share much insight as to who will start or how he views the current situation.
“We’ll see how it goes here today,” Belichick said when asked who will get the start between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.
That was a common answer for Belichick, who was asked about the Patriots’ quarterback situation at least a dozen times ahead of their practice on Wednesday.
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Will there be another quarterback rotation in place against the Jets? “We’ll see how it goes today,” Belichick said.
What do you have to see? “We’ll see how it goes here today.”
“We’re not doing anything here,” Belichick added when asked a similar question. “We haven’t practiced. We’re going to go out and see how it goes here today.”
Belichick’s non-commital answers as to who he’ll start at quarterback came roughly 36 hours after the Patriots lost to the Chicago Bears on Monday night when he made one of the more bizarre choices in his 23 seasons coaching in New England. Jones, who missed the previous three games due to an ankle injury, returned and started in Monday’s game but was pulled after he threw an interception on his third drive. Zappe led the Patriots to two touchdown drives but committed three turnovers (two interceptions and a lost fumble) later.
Jones’ benching in the first half of Monday’s game wasn’t performance-based, though, at least according to Belichick. The coach said he planned to play both quarterbacks entering the game and told ESPN at halftime that he planned to get Jones back in the game during the second half, but the lopsided score made him reconsider the plan.
Between Jones’ benching and Patriots fans booing him and chanting for his backup to replace him, it’s easy to think that the second-year quarterback might have to work up his confidence before playing again. Belichick gave a simple answer when asked about having to work up Jones’ confidence.
“Yeah, we’ll get the team ready to play,” Belichick said.
Prior to the ankle injury, Jones mostly struggled in his first three games of the season. He has thrown for 799 yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions with a 70.8 passer rating so far this season. Belichick wasn’t in the mood to assess how Jones has played so far this season.
“Well, he hasn’t played in the last three weeks. So, what are we talking about evaluating?”Belichick said. “We don’t start evaluating guys on one play. We’re just getting ready for the Jets. We’re not recapping the season. We’re just getting ready for the Jets.”
Belichick wouldn’t say if there’s a competition between Jones and Zappe either.
“I’m not saying that,” Belichick said when asked if there’s a competition. “We’ll talk about it later and see how it goes.”
However, Belichick said that he could have an answer on who will start in Sunday’s game soon.
“Maybe,” Belichick said when asked if he’ll say who’s starting when asked again on Thursday.
The Patriots fell to 3-4 on the season with their loss against the Bears. After going 1-2 in the two starts with Jones in place, the Patriots won the two games Zappe started to improve to 3-3.