It’s one of Bill Belichick’s repeated general lines to dismiss any questions about any decision he’s made as head coach of the New England Patriots. Bank a player. Go for it in fourth and long. Whatever.
We do what we think is best for the football team.
Belichick’s dismissive challenge has always been a strength. He does everything his way. He explains only what he wants to explain. He keeps everyone, from his players to his staff to the fans, on edge.
It has served you well. He has won six Super Bowls.
Yet here in his 28th year as head coach, the 70-year-old finds himself in a whirlwind of confusion over his quarterback situation that cannot easily be brushed aside with brief media appearances or muffled with a record. of wins and losses, or even the promise of the win-loss record.
Last spring, team owner Robert Kraft said that “it bothers me that we haven’t been able to win a playoff game in the last three years.” He better get ready for a fourth-place finish, because this team is in last place in the AFC East and has shown no reason to believe that this is the post-Tom Brady season that he turns around.
Belichick doesn’t even sound convincing at this point, certainly not after he claims that entered the Bears game with the specific plan of playing two quarterbacks — mac jones and Bailey Zappe.
“We did what we thought was best for the team,” Belichick said Tuesday morning, and if he really believed that, then he wasn’t saying why he thought the long-rejected concept of Quarterback Roulette was suddenly a good idea. .
The old adage is that if you have two quarterbacks, then you have neither (or none that is good). Occasionally, desperate college teams get together at the position, but that’s either because they have a guy who can pitch and another who can run or because they don’t want a young talent transferring.
None of that applied to the Patriots. In the NFL, where there’s a dearth of scrimmages, the conventional wisdom is that there’s no time to prepare two quarterbacks for a single game. A failed second-quarter handoff by Zappe could serve as evidence of that.
Still, this was apparently the plan.
Jones, the sophomore out of Alabama returning from a sprained high ankle, started and played the first three series. He was 3 of 6 and his last down was intercepted.
in wine Bailey Zappe, the rookie from western Kentuckywho oversaw two quick touchdown drives but then struggled, throwing two interceptions and losing that fumble.
Jones never came back because, Belichick said, the game was out of control: “I didn’t want to put him in that position.” However, in the first two series of the second half, New England trailed just 23-14 and then 26-14. The game was still very competitive, especially against the lowly Bears.
Zappe stayed and oversaw two 3-and-outs.
Belichick said after the game that the decision to retire Jones was not based on performance or health. Jones added that he was feeling fine. Belichick responded Tuesday that he was “hypothetical” how Jones would feel about “70 plays,” but, considering the violence of the game, that’s the case for all players.
“I told the quarterbacks we were going to play them both, and that’s what we did,” Belichick said Monday.
For his part, Jones said Belichick told him both he and Zappe would play: “I think Coach Belcihick had a really good plan for us.” Zappe said that he prepared as if he were going to play, mainly through mental replays.
On Tuesday, Belichick told WEEI that he also told several “team leaders” about the plan.
Inside the post-game locker room, however, MassLive.com’s Mark Daniels reported seeing veteran players approaching and commiserating with Jones about the situation, quickly being pulled off after an interception. while the crowd chanted for Zappe. Others expressed surprise.
“No, we were not aware”, runner ramondre stevenson he told MassLive.
“I would say it’s a shock,” added wide receiver Jakobi Myers.
That’s the best running back and wide receiver on the team, who would presumably be players who should know.
“It was the best thing to do based on the situation,” Belichick said of the trade.
Reporter: What was the situation?
“The whole situation,” Belichick said.
Who will be the starter on Sunday when the Patriots visit the new york jets? Belichick said he doesn’t know.
He also didn’t address whether it’s possible to prepare two QBs, let alone youngsters, for a game. He never explained why this time, the plan was to do something contrary to what essentially every coach in football, including Belichick, has done for three decades. He went on to say that everyone including himself needs to do better.
“In the end, everything we try to do is what’s best for the team,” Belichick said.
For confused fans, and even gamers, that might be enough for now.
Bill Belichick isn’t changing his ways and isn’t explaining anything, even if the record isn’t what it used to be.