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Devin McCourty: Some Patriots players wanted Bailey Zappe, some wanted Mac Jones

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine the Patriots’ reported move to sign JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year deal and discuss if he’ll embrace the Patriot way.

The arguments about whether the Patriots should have started Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones at quarterback last season weren’t limited to fans and the media. Patriots players were split on the subject as well.

That’s the word from Devin McCourty, who retired this month after 13 seasons with the Patriots. McCourty said he had teammates last year in both camps, and that the split said more about the overall ineffectiveness about the offense than either quarterback individually.

“I think there were some guys in the locker room that were like ‘Let’s go with Zappe.’ Or ‘No, Mac looked good today.’ It was just a back and forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback. We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope,” McCourty said on WEEI, via

A third-string fourth-round rookie who played only one season of major college football, Zappe was surprisingly effective last season, leading the Patriots to back-to-back wins after both Jones and Brian Hoyer got injured. Some thought the Patriots should have stuck with Zappe, but as soon as Jones was cleared he returned to the starting lineup, and Zappe returned to the sideline.