Patriots players were split between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe during season, retired star says
The New England Patriots were a mess on the offensive side of the football in 2022, finishing the season 26th in yards per game while averaging just 208 passing yards per game.
After a year in which the Patriots thought they had found their quarterback of the future, former first-round draft pick Mac Jones regressed as New England went 8-9 and missed the playoffs.
Bailey Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round draft pick out of Western Kentucky, started four games during the season after Jones suffered an ankle injury in a Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
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Zappe quickly became a fan favorite even after Jones returned from his injury.
Devin McCourty, who announced his retirement from football in March after 10 seasons, says the locker room was split at times on who should be under center.
In a recent interview with WEEI, McCourty discussed the issues on offense in his last NFL season.
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“I think player-wise there was enough trust that we’re going to put the best guy out there,” McCourty said, according to ESPN. “But the struggles on offense, I think there were some guys in the locker room that were like ‘Let’s go with [Bailey] Zappe.’ Or ‘No, Mac looked good today.’ It was just a back-and-forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback.
“We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope.”
New England should be better suited for success on offense in 2023, with the Patriots hiring Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator.
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Matt Patricia and Joe Judge split the play-calling duties in 2022.
McCourty has backed Jones recently, saying the former Alabama quarterback is the answer for the Patriots.
“I think he's the future of New England,” McCourty said of Jones on “Good Morning Football” in February. “Any doubts, I think you’re wrong if you don’t think that. I think he's the future. He’s in that building right now doing different things, working with guys, talking to guys. That’s what he wants. He wants to be that quarterback.”