Patriots’ Bailey Zappe on QB competition with Mac Jones: ‘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."

The New England Patriots held practice on the Gillette Stadium practice field Wednesday afternoon. Quarterbacks Mac Jones(left) and Bailey Zappe fire passes during a drill.
Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe could be competing for reps next season. John Tlumacki / Globe Staff

Based on Bill Belichick’s comments last month, it seems like the Patriots are embracing competition for every segment of their roster in 2023 — including the quarterback position. 

“Well, everybody will get a chance to play. We’ll play the best player,” Belichick said of Mac Jones’ spot on the depth chart at the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix. 

And if New England opts to pit Jones and Bailey Zappe against one another once training camp opens, Zappe will be up for the challenge.

“If my opportunity presents itself, I’m going to take full advantage of it,” Zappe said Wednesday at a youth football clinic in Rhode Island. “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.”

Zappe’s comments aren’t much of a surprise, given the clean slate that presents itself at the outset of each new NFL season.

And even though Zappe’s reps last year were a byproduct of injuries to both Jones and Brian Hoyer, the rookie impressed during his four games of regular-season action.

While filling in for Jones, Zappe completed 70.7 percent of his pass attempts, throwing for five touchdowns and three interceptions last season.

Even with Jones’ first-round pedigree, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer noted in a column earlier this month that the Patriots’ coaching staff didn’t see a significant gap between Jones and Zappe as the 2022 season went along. 

“By the end of last year, the coaches didn’t think there was a massive chasm between the two,” Breer wrote. “Jones has the physical edge, but not by a mile. Jones is also incredibly football smart, but Zappe’s sharp, too, and last year’s staff felt like Zappe closed any gap there by following the coach when Jones didn’t.”


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