One day after Bailey Zappe led the Patriots to a comfortable win over the Cleveland Browns, he and Mac Jones both attended a charity bowling event in Boston hosted by Devin and Jason McCourty.
Jason McCourty, the former New England cornerback-turned-NFL Network host, offered a glimpse inside that event Wednesday on “Good Morning Football.”
“I was with both of these guys Monday night at the charity event,” said McCourty, whose twin brother still plays for the Patriots. “The team loves ’em — both of ’em. Both of these guys. … They were in there hanging out, laughing and joking.”
Jones, McCourty said, appeared at ease during the event, “laughing, having a great time.” The Patriots quarterback has missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain, and Zappe has impressed in his absence.
McCourty noted the obvious Drew Bledsoe/Tom Brady parallels at play in this quarterback debate, but he compared Jones and Zappe to Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, who were part of the same Washington draft class in 2012.
“Very similar,” McCourty said. “Mac Jones was a first-round draft pick last year; Zappe I believe it was fourth-round this year. The Patriots didn’t really have a backup quarterback. (Brian) Hoyer, that’s my guy, (but) B-Hoyer is older than me. The years aren’t going to continue to gain. So now you have Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones. You have two guys to solidify the quarterback room. And maybe there’s some competition. I think Mac gets the job back, but the leash is a little bit shorter in the fact of you can’t turn the ball over.”
Turnovers have been Jones’ biggest issue this season. He threw five interceptions in three games before his injury. Zappe, running an offense that’s dialed back the deep shots and placed a greater emphasis on screens and play-action, has thrown just one pick in three games, and that came on a pass that Nelson Agholor dropped. (Zappe also has lost two fumbles on strip-sacks.)
Head coach Bill Belichick has yet to say which QB will start this week’s Monday night matchup against the Chicago Bears. A report Wednesday from Pro Football Focus’s Doug Kyed indicated Jones is “85-to-90%” healthy and would be willing to play through his ankle injury.