Team Mac or Team Zappe?

My QB1 is


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CoffeeNerdness

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So Mac can be fixed, but a younger, less experienced Zappe has peaked?
There's a reason why the QB position in the NFL is biased toward guys who are taller than 6'2" and it was in full evidence last night during the second half. When you have to throw over a wall of men who are 6'7" all those players have to do is read the QB and stick their hands up and there's a decent chance that they'll get a number of tipped/batted balls. Unfortunately, Zappe is too shrimppe.

Perhaps they could combine Mac into Bailey and have one halfway decent player because Zappe's pocket presence and quick decision making is exactly what Mac lacks atm.
 

johnmd20

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They are beating the Jets this weekend. The Jets are in shambles with injuries. And Fields is streets ahead of Zach Wilson, who legitimately sucks. And Wilson cannot run like Fields can.

One thing about Fields, he is a weapon with his legs. He's got almost 400 rushing yards this year.
 

8slim

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They gotta fix Mac. Zappe’s been a fun story; but the clock struck midnight yesterday.

I guess one can never say never, but given his physical limitations I think it’s highly unlikely that Zappe can be a long term NFL starter.

I‘ d say the jury is still out on Mac. Yes he’s been awful this season, but he has had good games in the past, so we know there could be something there.

Regardless, they gotta find out if Mac’s salvageable for 2023.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Regardless, they gotta find out if Mac’s salvageable for 2023.
This is where I have been from the start on this. Mac has looked like he's forgotten how to play football, they have to put the time into figuring out if he can play and build on last year's performance or not. If this is who is he, then obviously they need a Plan B, which might be Zappe or might be someone else, but either way Zappe is not going anywhere. And let's face it, this is at best a fringe playoff team and most likely not even that, so it isn't like you are throwing away a chance at another Lombardi. Figure out if Mac can play so you know whether you need to draft or acquire another QB next year or not. Futzing around with year 3 and 4 of a guy who maybe can play but maybe can't is what kills franchises.
 

dirtynine

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Seems like Zappe’s height / susceptibility to blocked passes is a major liability that other teams can scheme around.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm on team mac here still, but I'm not sure that Zappe's height is the problem with the batted passes. That's just a skill that he hasn't acquired yet--throwing in the lanes, looking off guys, etc. It's not like the 2" difference between his 6'1" and Mac's 6'3" is what's getting the balls knocked down. He's hitting guys in the wrists. Red herring.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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This is where I have been from the start on this. Mac has looked like he's forgotten how to play football, they have to put the time into figuring out if he can play and build on last year's performance or not. If this is who is he, then obviously they need a Plan B, which might be Zappe or might be someone else, but either way Zappe is not going anywhere. And let's face it, this is at best a fringe playoff team and most likely not even that, so it isn't like you are throwing away a chance at another Lombardi. Figure out if Mac can play so you know whether you need to draft or acquire another QB next year or not. Futzing around with year 3 and 4 of a guy who maybe can play but maybe can't is what kills franchises.
Mac's recent play has been really concerning. I'm fixated on the Parker end zone interception and the pick last night. I feel like Mac repeating that mistake so quickly played a part in Bill's quick hook. If your instinct at pressure is to toss it up lightly into deep coverage like that the results are going to be terrible. Both were entirely unnecessary and avoidable.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Mac's recent play has been really concerning. I'm fixated on the Parker end zone interception and the pick last night. I feel like Mac repeating that mistake so quickly played a part in Bill's quick hook. If your instinct at pressure is to toss it up lightly into deep coverage like that the results are going to be terrible. Both were entirely unnecessary and avoidable.
Totally agree, Mac has been downright awful this year in terms of decision making, going through his progressions, getting the ball out, pocket presence, etc. He's been awful and he looked like a guy who had never taken a snap at a high level in limited action last night. But, we saw him play at a much higher level last year, so I still think figuring out what's wrong is the right move. If Mac is broken and can't be fixed they need to move on from him quickly. But I see no value in sticking with Zappe who may or may not be better, but likely isn't a lot better, over getting enough data on Mac to make a decision about his figure this offseason.
 

genoasalami

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Whatever happened to the incredible off season Mac had? Working out. Working with a noted QB coach. Expect big improvements in his game this year!
 

Mloaf71

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Whatever happened to the incredible off season Mac had? Working out. Working with a noted QB coach. Expect big improvements in his game this year!
Workouts and QB coach, maybe he forgot to see Wild Thing Ricky Vaughn's eye doctor to start throwing to the right team?
 

IdiotKicker

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I've said for the last two weeks that you need to spend some real time with Mac as your starter this year to figure out if that's a place where you need an open competition heading into next year, since after next year is when you need to make your decision on the 5th-year option for him. I didn't like what I saw from him last night, as he seemed jumpy in a shitty pocket, unwilling to throw into the tight windows that were available, and then his pick was obviously not a good throw and a great play by the DB. But plenty of QBs have a bad half. Plenty of players have a bad half. Mac has basically never struggled in his athletic life. We need to see how he responds to it. We need to see if he steps his game up or if he turtles. We need to see if he can calm his feet and mind and commit to the tough but makeable throw. Because I'm not ready to believe that 5 games of meh-to-crap is enough to outweigh the really promising 2021 season that we saw from him. If the crap continues for longer? Yeah, I think then you make your decision and make Zappe part of the conversation for the future competition for QB. But even then, as we saw, Zappe has to earn it. Two games don't win a job, just like a bad half doesn't lose a job. You've gotta give players time to adjust and learn. That leash doesn't last forever, but if we simply decide that a quarter of a season or a half a game is enough time to make a decision, we're going to miss out on guys who do develop over time and need to go through those struggles to come out better players on the other side.
 

CaptainLaddie

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I got absolutely slammed after the Pats went up 14-10 for saying "It's still Mac's job. He's just not healthy".

I stood by it there, stand by it now. I don't think he was 100% last night and I think he got spooked.
 

Cellar-Door

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I got absolutely slammed after the Pats went up 14-10 for saying "It's still Mac's job. He's just not healthy".

I stood by it there, stand by it now. I don't think he was 100% last night and I think he got spooked.
I'm not sure if it's health honestly. He's made those same mistakes all year.
He should start because Zappe isn't a starting QB and he has even worse tools concerns than we had about Mac.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm not sure if it's health honestly. He's made those same mistakes all year.
Yes, his issues pre-dated his injury. He just hasn't progressed at all in Year 2, for whatever reason. Probably the most discouraging aspect of this soon-to-be lost season.
 

BigJimEd

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I got absolutely slammed after the Pats went up 14-10 for saying "It's still Mac's job. He's just not healthy".

I stood by it there, stand by it now. I don't think he was 100% last night and I think he got spooked.
What makes you think health was a factor last night? I still think it is Mac's job but I didn't see any evidence that his health was an issue last night.
 

BigSoxFan

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What makes you think health was a factor last night? I still think it is Mac's job but I didn't see any evidence that his health was an issue last night.
I mean, he was healthy enough for several sizable scrambles but apparently not healthy enough to make good decisions throwing the ball.

The logic doesn't compute. Mac's biggest issue right now is between the ears, not the ankle, which looked fine.
 

The Social Chair

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Try to fix Mac over the next 1 1/2 seasons. If it doesn't work, the new coaching staff and front office will find their QB in the 2024 draft. Hopefully it's Caleb Williams.
 

jk333

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I was very high on Mac because of his great rookie season.

I’m very concerned because a 4th round rookie out of Western Kentucky (and FCS) has now has partially reproduced that rookie performance this year in a very small sample. Meanwhile with those same players the 2nd year qb has regressed.
 

Ferm Sheller

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If BB were asked who they're going to use as FG kicker against the Jets, his response would be, "We're going to do what's best for the football team" or "I'm not going to answer any hypotheticals". It wouldn't be, "Nick Folk's the guy."
 

cshea

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If BB were asked who they're going to use as kicker against the Jets, his response would be, "We're going to do what's best for the football team" or "I'm not going to answer any hypotheticals". It wouldn't be, "Nick Folk's the guy."
Eh. I don't know. When Cam was around he repeatedly said Cam's the starter. That as the common refrain until they cut him.

Edit: I think he's gotta pick a lane and go. Everything about last night was a clusterfuck. It seems they weren't convinced Mac was going to last the whole game. If they didn't think Mac could last the whole game, they probably should've just given him the week off and started Zappe. Instead we got this muddled confusion where it seems the players weren't aware of the plan.
 

8slim

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Maybe it was just "rust", but what I found most discouraging about Mac's play last night was the lonnnng decision making process he had while in the pocket. Now, maybe that was a function of play calling and/or receivers not getting separation. But everything just seemed so slow, and then the pocket would inevitably collapse.

I'd really like to see Patricia help him out by employing more quick 3-step drop-and-fire pass plays. Mac's gotta find a rhythm and the staff needs to help.
 

rodderick

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If BB were asked who they're going to use as FG kicker against the Jets, his response would be, "We're going to do what's best for the football team" or "I'm not going to answer any hypotheticals". It wouldn't be, "Nick Folk's the guy."
No, he would scoff at the question. Like he scoffed at the whole "is Tom Brady still the starter for this team?" after the Chiefs game in 2014 and as he scoffed at the questions about Cam's status as starter in 2020.
 

cshea

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Okay, I vaguely recall that now that you mention it. Seems like an outlier, though.
He's usually decisive with the QB's, although there obviously wasn't much of a question for two decades. In 2001 when Bledsoe was cleared and returned to practice, Belichick split reps for the week between Brady and Bledsoe. They lost the game (the Rams game) and I believe Bill came out the next day (or the next week) and basically said that it was a mistake to split the reps, it doesn't do anyone any good, and named Brady the starter the rest of the way. Bill's handling of Mac/Zappe this week seems to run against the way he handled that situation.
 

Ferm Sheller

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He's usually decisive with the QB's, although there obviously wasn't much of a question for two decades. In 2001 when Bledsoe was cleared and returned to practice, Belichick split reps for the week between Brady and Bledsoe. They lost the game (the Rams game) and I believe Bill came out the next day (or the next week) and basically said that it was a mistake to split the reps, it doesn't do anyone any good, and named Brady the starter the rest of the way. Bill's handling of Mac/Zappe this week seems to run against the way he handled that situation.
Okay, interesting. I'm not sure of course how they're going to handle the QB situation against the Jets, but for some reason I find it immensely more interesting than I did coming into last night's game (I guess because we now know Mac's substantially/entirely healthy, and certainly healthy enough to play).
 

sodenj5

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Interesting that there isn’t a bigger outcry for answers from the coaching staff in regards to Mac’s regression.

We’ve seen what Mac looks like under competent tutelage and game planning. Is Mac suddenly bad or is he just executing a worse offense and worse coaching? Obviously some of his INTs have been notably bad, but are they emphasizing him trying to stretch the field vertically more?

The Mac regression is giving me Tua PTSD when I see an organization not building around their QB and surrounding him with an offense that emphasizes what he does well and talent that fits his skills properly. The benching last night is like the final piece of the Holy Trinity of QB Mismanagement.
 

lexrageorge

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Interesting that there isn’t a bigger outcry for answers from the coaching staff in regards to Mac’s regression.

We’ve seen what Mac looks like under competent tutelage and game planning. Is Mac suddenly bad or is he just executing a worse offense and worse coaching? Obviously some of his INTs have been notably bad, but are they emphasizing him trying to stretch the field vertically more?

The Mac regression is giving me Tua PTSD when I see an organization not building around their QB and surrounding him with an offense that emphasizes what he does well and talent that fits his skills properly. The benching last night is like the final piece of the Holy Trinity of QB Mismanagement.
Mac's struggles last night had nothing to do with the coaching; he was just terrible (as was his OL with 3 bad penalties). The offense has enough players that he should be able to execute the game plan in competent fashion. No great players, but enough OK players.

Could just be a large speed bump in his development curve. Or it could be that he is destined to wash out like so many other young QB's in the league. Sometimes it is entirely on the player, as much as we wish it to be otherwise.
 

Cellar-Door

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Interesting that there isn’t a bigger outcry for answers from the coaching staff in regards to Mac’s regression.

We’ve seen what Mac looks like under competent tutelage and game planning. Is Mac suddenly bad or is he just executing a worse offense and worse coaching? Obviously some of his INTs have been notably bad, but are they emphasizing him trying to stretch the field vertically more?

The Mac regression is giving me Tua PTSD when I see an organization not building around their QB and surrounding him with an offense that emphasizes what he does well and talent that fits his skills properly. The benching last night is like the final piece of the Holy Trinity of QB Mismanagement.
There was some earlier in the year, but the coaches have adjusted, in his limited time last night he had a bunch of play action, motion etc. He just was a mess.

Unreleated to this... we discussed in the game thread last night whether that PA play that Harris dropped the 5 yard pass before the INT was open...
View: https://twitter.com/michaelFhurley/status/1584927177573036035


Yeah, that's at least as open as the same play Zappe threw. Mac needs to throw that.
 

IdiotKicker

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View: https://twitter.com/tkyles39/status/1584945818884132867?s=20&t=qbWVaxXHkD0kSxo1cI4rpQ


This basically sums up my take on Mac last night. Not a lot of separation (the Henry seam was basically the only play with a large window, and the Parker/Meyers go-routes referenced above), not much available to check down to, and the OL didn't hold up. Mac wasn't good, but he had basically nothing to work with, and that showed with Zappe as well after his first two drives. It was just an ugly game in all phases. Learn from it, scrap what didn't work, move on, and commit to Mac through the bye. If he is horrendous the next two weeks, and I mean really bad, not just ok, then I think you seriously think about seeing what Zappe shows you in the second half of the year. But you could basically fire everyone into the sun last night aside from Judon and Defensive Joneses on a few plays and that's it.
 

Ed Hillel

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I consider last night a bury the ball game tbh. I'm with IK, Mac is on a short tryout at this point, give him two games until the bye and then make your decision after it, exactly where I was beforehand. If Bill has seen enough of Mac in practice doing the same shit, just commit to Zappe now. Just have something ready for the first game after the bye in terms of a committment. This isn't an easy spot for a coach either.
 

FL4WL3SS

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They gotta fix Mac. Zappe’s been a fun story; but the clock struck midnight yesterday.

I guess one can never say never, but given his physical limitations I think it’s highly unlikely that Zappe can be a long term NFL starter.

I‘ d say the jury is still out on Mac. Yes he’s been awful this season, but he has had good games in the past, so we know there could be something there.

Regardless, they gotta find out if Mac’s salvageable for 2023.
Mac can be fixed, but Zappe is a finished product because of one bad game where he had to come in with the team already behind?

I don't take away much from last night's game, for either QB. Mac continued to suck, as he has all year, and Zappe was good (comeback) and then awful. It was as weird a situation as I've ever seen in an NFL game.

I don't understand why you're giving Mac credit for his past good games, but totally discounting Zappe for his?

At this point, who the fuck knows with either guy.
 

Ed Hillel

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Probably worth noting that the conditions for throwing last night were not particularly good. Decision-making is probably the best thing you can take out of the game. I still like Zappe's fundamentals better overall, though the height he releases the ball from is a concern.
 

Jungleland

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Mac can be fixed, but Zappe is a finished product because of one bad game where he had to come in with the team already behind?

I don't take away much from last night's game, for either QB. Mac continued to suck, as he has all year, and Zappe was good (comeback) and then awful. It was as weird a situation as I've ever seen in an NFL game.

I don't understand why you're giving Mac credit for his past good games, but totally discounting Zappe for his?

At this point, who the fuck knows with either guy.
Not to speak for slim but for me it comes down to draft pedigree and Hoyer winning the backup job out of camp. Neither means Zappe should be out of chances after one bad half, but I think there’s more urgency to focusing on fixing Mac in the short term by nature of the year further into his contract and that we’re arguably still early enough into his career where theoretical ceiling shouldn’t be discarded just yet.

That said I agree with you there’s not a ton to take away from last night. In hindsight they should have started BZ, though I imagine Mac getting the start was at least partly made with an eye toward next week’s game being as important as it gets.
 

Mystic Merlin

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So why did the Patriots draft him?
Which QB picked in the mid to late rounds can you anticipate being a starting caliber QB? Zero.

Even getting a good backup QB in the mid to late rounds is a win during the rookie contract because good backup QBs are expensive when they hit open FA.
 

rodderick

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Which QB picked in the mid to late rounds can you anticipate being a starting caliber QB? Zero.

Even getting a good backup QB in the mid to late rounds is a win during the rookie contract because good backup QBs are expensive when they hit open FA.
Yeah, but a "good backup" won't have physical limitations the coaching staff believe will prevent him from becoming a starter.
 

BigJimEd

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This basically sums up my take on Mac last night. Not a lot of separation (the Henry seam was basically the only play with a large window, and the Parker/Meyers go-routes referenced above), not much available to check down to, and the OL didn't hold up. Mac wasn't good, but he had basically nothing to work with, and that showed with Zappe as well after his first two drives. It was just an ugly game in all phases. Learn from it, scrap what didn't work, move on, and commit to Mac through the bye. If he is horrendous the next two weeks, and I mean really bad, not just ok, then I think you seriously think about seeing what Zappe shows you in the second half of the year. But you could basically fire everyone into the sun last night aside from Judon and Defensive Joneses on a few plays and that's it.
I don't now. I only did a quick look through the video from Taylor Kiles posted above. While Mac didn't have much to work with, he seemed to leave some yards out there. On the play before the interception, in addition to Parker, Meyers is completely open with the Safety turned the other way but Mac never looked that way. There's another similar play where Parker is breaking free with the safety moving to towards Henry but Mac tucks and runs with it. Again never looking in that direction. I didn't see a ton of progression in his reads; he seemed rushed even when not necessary. Part of that is likely not trusting his line (for good reason). Also not many plays and overall it didn't seem as bad as when watching it live.
 

8slim

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So why did the Patriots draft him?
Others covered this, but also, he's a lottery ticket. They had Hoyer around as their #2, and had Wynn not gotten him smushed we might never have seen a snap from Bailey.

I mean, we drafted Rohan Davey, Kliff Kingsbury, Kevin O'Connell, Zac Robinson, Ryan Mallett, Jarrett Stidham and Danny Etling in the BB era as well. Sometimes you take a flyer and see how it goes.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah, but a "good backup" won't have physical limitations the coaching staff believe will prevent him from becoming a starter.
Why? There aren't really 32 starter quality QBs in the league in any given year, having a backup who can play in limited situations is really good, and useful. No backup in the league is going to come in an shred good defenses consistently, but if they can execute gameplan against bad defenses (see Zappe v. Lions and Browns) and maybe hold it together against the medium defenses, that helps you win games.
 

Groovenstein

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Mac Jones is the highest drafted offensive player in the history of Belichick's tenure as coach/GM of the Pats. He threw for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and four picks in his final season at Alabama and that year set the NCAA record for completion percentage against very stiff competition. I don't think it's fair to say Zappe has peaked, but I think his upside is lower and most here seem to agree. Combining the year he had last year, with his draft position and upside, you have to devote energy to getting Mac right. That could come behind the scenes, but it seems to me it's best to play him.
To clarify, I wasn’t saying give up on Mac. I was responding to “Zappe has shown what he is” as implying a peak. Seems like that isn’t what you meant.
 

Ed Hillel

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That's fine, probably makes the most sense. Mac until the bye, if he plays like he has the rest of the season, you go to Zappe. Otherwise, it's Mac. Then next training camp you have a true competition again.