Bill Belichick: Mac Jones will be the quarterback
After Wednesday’s repeated mantra of “We’ll see how it goes” when talking about quarterbacks, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was clear in a rare way on Thursday.
“Mac [Jones] took a full workload yesterday. I expect him to be fully available here for the game and ready to go,” Belichick said as a part of his opening statement.
Just to be sure, a reporter smartly followed up to ask if that meant Jones would be the starter.
“That’s what I just said, isn’t it? He got a full load,” Belichick said.
And later — as a triple confirmation — Belichick said, “We started the game we wanted to start it last week and we talked about the way it ended up. This week’s a different week, so different situation. Mac will be the quarterback.”
So that confirms the Wednesday report from ESPN’s Field Yates that Jones will start against the Jets in Week Eight.
Belichick noted that Jones is starting now because he’s fully healthy and that it doesn’t have anything to do with rookie Bailey Zappe’s performance. Jones was off the injury report for the fist time since suffering his ankle sprain on Wednesday. But Belichick refused to go beyond this week when addressing his team’s starting quarterback.
“It’s hypothetical,” Belichick said. “Here we are today. We’re practicing for the Jets. It’s Thursday, getting ready for the Jets. Like, that’s where we are. So, anything that happens beyond that, I mean, it’s not current. I’m not going to get into it. That’s as helpful as I can be. I mean, c’mon man.”
Belichick mentioned he’s talked to all the quarterbacks, so everyone knows what the situation is.
Jones, the 15th overall pick of last year’s draft, played just three possessions in the Monday night loss to the Bears. In four games this season, he’s completed 65 percent of his passes for 799 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions.
Zappe has completed 71 percent of his passes or 781 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions in four appearances.