Patriots’ Bailey Zappe ‘happy to be a part of this organization’ as rookie QB tries to carve out backup role
FOXBOROUGH — While Mac Jones certainly has the starting quarterback spot locked, the depth chart behind him is less defined with veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Bailey Zappe.
During training camp practices on Friday and Saturday, Hoyer was not active, allowing Zappe to get more opportunities and reps behind Jones.
“Happy to be here and happy to be part of this organization,” Zappe said. “There are always things to keep working on and we’re going to keep piling on the days here and getting better every day.”
These two days were an opportunity for Zappe.
“I just take advantage of your reps when you get them,” Zappe said. “That’s what everyone does here. Like I said, we just try to take it day by day.
On Saturday, it was Zappe who drew the loudest cheers from the crowd after finding receiver Kristian Wilkerson on the left sideline, who was tightly covered by Jack Jones. With defense dominating most training, play has been one of the attacking strengths.
Zappe also reached out to Josh Hammond, who was just signed by the Patriots on Thursday after a tryout in training camp. During the 7v7 drill, Hammond fought for the ball, dragging it down and managing to just stay inbounds.
The transition from college to the NFL was evident for Zappe throughout camp. While he had those two assists, the rookie quarterback made less than half his shots and looked slow in the pocket.
“I was able to ask questions and I needed to get answers,” Zappe said. “Everyone has been great, helping me a lot.”
The Patriots selected Zappe in the fourth round in April, giving New England a third quarterback after Jarrett Stidham was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.
In Bill Belichick’s rookie tradition, Zappe wears an unusual number (55) during camp. With Malcolm Bulter wearing the number 4 that Zappe had in Western Kentucky, he wasn’t sure what number he would eventually get and didn’t worry about it.
“I will do whatever is asked of me,” Zappe said.