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Bill Belichick noncommittal about Mac Jones starting over Bailey Zappe

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect Bill Belichick’s comment about the Patriots “not resting on past laurels” and discuss the teams’ prior success falling more on him or Tom Brady.

When healthy, Mac Jones has started every game for the Patriots since they drafted him two years ago. But Bailey Zappe’s performance in the games Jones missed last season has led to some questions about whether Jones really deserves to be the Patriots’ starter. And Bill Belichick declined to answer those questions at the league meeting.

Asked if Jones and Zappe will be competing for the starting job, Belichick didn’t directly answer.

Everybody will get a chance to play. We’ll play the best players,” Belichick said, via

Asked again if it will be a competition, Belichick again said, ”Everybody will get a chance to play.”

Belichick said he isn’t promising a starting job to any player at any position.

“Every position,” Belichick said. “Everybody will get a chance to play. Everybody that’s on our roster, if they earn the opportunity to play, then based on what they do in practice and all that, then they’ll get an opportunity to play.”

Given that Jones was the first-round pick and the incumbent starter, and Zappe was a fourth-round pick who only played when Jones was hurt, it seems highly likely that Jones will start for the Patriots. But even some Patriots players wanted Zappe to start last season, and Belichick isn’t ready to say definitively that Jones is QB1.