Mac Jones better hope he is not the next Drew Bledsoe because that could mean Bailey Zappe is the next Tom Brady.
With the New England Patriots have wallowed in utter malaise since Tom Brady left them for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we could potentially see Mac Jones get the Drew Bledsoe treatment from one Bailey Zappe.
Although I don’t think history will repeat itself like this in New England, we did see Dak Prescott Wally Pipp Tony Romo into retirement full of golf and not preparing for games in the booth next to Jim Nantz. Then again, like Stacy’s Mom, Zappe has got it going on. The world forever changed when the rookie out of Western Kentucky lip-synced the hell out of some Fountains of Wayne.
When asked at a football clinic in Newport, Rhode Island by Mass Live’s Chris Mason, Zappe feels totally confident his day in the sun will come in Foxborough.
“If my opportunity presents itself, I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m going to do everything I can to help the team win. That’s really all I can say from that standpoint. That’s Coach Belichick’s decision, whatever he decides. But if the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to be ready and take advantage of it.”
If you listen closely, you can hear McEnroe Jones have a conniption fit while breaking his favorite country club tennis racket down in his native Jacksonville. Oh, this is about to get so awesome….
Bailey Zappe could Wally Pip Mac Jones into an oblivion in his second NFL season
For several reasons, I think the Bill O’Brien hire will be massive for the Patriots going forward. He will help bridge the gap between a set-in-his-ways Bill Belichick and modern NFL offenses. O’Brien is not for everyone, but he is the best head coach in Houston Texans franchise history. He also took over essentially a death-sentenced Penn State program in the wake of Jerry Sandusky.
So what I think this means is O’Brien will elevate the quarterback play in Foxborough to a respectable level we saw when Josh McDaniels was calling the shots offensively. This means Jones will play up to his 2021 standard and his Heisman runner-up campaign at Alabama the year prior. It also suggests Zappe will improve and be better adept at running a modern NFL offense.
The best part is O’Brien is coming in as somewhat of a neutral party. Yes, he has a previous working relationship with Belichick, as well as Jones’ alma mater of Alabama. In theory, Jones should be able to hold Zappe back. Then again, pick No. 199 in Brady did usurp former No. 1 overall pick Bledsoe, who had already been paid handsomely, over the course of two NFL seasons.
The good news for Jones in this extreme hypothetical is Bledsoe still had success outside of New England. He didn’t win a ton in Buffalo or in Dallas, but his talent still shone through playing quarterback for defensive-minded head coaches. If Jimmy Garoppolo continues to be brittle and the Las Vegas Raiders don’t go quarterback at No. 7, maybe Jones dons the Silver and Black soon?
As for Zappe, we know he can sling it from his days at WKU and Houston Baptist before that. He wasn’t a first-round pick like Jones or Bledsoe were, but he wasn’t a sixth-round pick like Brady was either. In short, his NFL upside is probably not all that far off from what Jones’ could be. Keep in mind that Jones was drafted No. 15 based on being the most pro-ready quarterback in his class.
While I wouldn’t count on Jones getting Wally Pipped by Zappe, a few bad games in September and October could pave the way for our favorite Stacy’s Mom enthusiast to take over. You have to remember that O’Brien was not part of the Patriots staff when those guys were drafted coming out. He does not have allegiances. If he flourishes in New England, he may take over for Belichick.
Bledsoe was already a star when Brady overtook him, so what does that say about Jones in this?