What We Saw From Patriots QBs In Practice As Decision Looms
FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots took the field Tuesday for their first post-bye week practice, and naturally, all eyes were on the quarterbacks.
Head coach Bill Belichick declined to name a starter for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants before practice, saying only that Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, Will Grier and rookie Malik Cunningham all should be “ready to go.”
Media members were permitted to watch just a brief portion of Tuesday’s session, but in that window, Jones still looked like the favorite to keep his starting job.
The 2021 first-round draft pick took first reps in the lone positional drill staged in front of reporters, with Zappe repping second. Jones and Zappe alternated until the end of the period, with the former taking a few more reps than the latter overall. There were no turns for Grier or Cunningham, a practice squadder who also takes reps at receiver and on special teams.
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It’s important to reiterate that the majority of Tuesday’s practice was closed to the media, as all are during the season, and that reporters did not witness any team drills or walkthroughs. New England’s QB plan for Sunday remains unclear.
But offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said Monday that it would not be feasible for more than two quarterbacks to be competing for the starting job during the season. Tuesday’s brief glimpse suggested that decision will come down to Jones or Zappe.
In non-QB news, the Patriots had perfect attendance at practice, with left tackle Trent Brown and running back Ty Montgomery both returning after missing last Wednesday. Brown sat out the last two games due to an ankle injury and an undisclosed personal issue.