How Isaiah Wynn Actually Helped Bailey Zappe In QB’s Debut

'He would look at me and be like, 'OK, you're good. Let's go.' '

by

October 3

Bailey Zappe kept his composure amid near-impossible circumstances Sunday, falling just short of a stunning upset victory at Lambeau Field in his NFL debut. He had Isaiah Wynn to thank for that.

Yes, the same Isaiah Wynn who allowed two sacks, committed two penalties and was demoted to second string after halftime in the Patriots’ 27-24 overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers.

During an appearance Monday on WEEI’s “Merloni, Fauria & Mego,” Zappe explained how Wynn — New England’s much-maligned right tackle — helped steady him after he replaced injured quarterback Brian Hoyer late in the first quarter.

“Personally, I like it when I get in the huddle and everybody’s talking to each other,” said Zappe, who only dressed for Sunday’s game because usual starter Mac Jones was sidelined with a high ankle sprain. “Like, I told Isaiah when I went in just to every once in a while look at me and be like, ‘It’s all right, we’re playing ball.’ And he did that almost every other play. He would look at me and be like, ‘OK, you’re good. Let’s go.’ “

Other members of the Patriots’ offensive line pitched in, too.

“Trent (Brown) did it,” Zappe said. “DA (David Andrews) did it. I like that. The relationships that we have, this team is a big brotherhood. We’re a big family, and I give a lot of credit to those guys for helping me stay calm.”

Zappe posted a modest stat line in his first taste of real NFL action (10 of 15, 99 yards, one touchdown) and was sacked three times, including a strip-sack surrendered when Packers edge rusher Rashan Gary blew past Wynn. The fourth-round rookie avoided any fatal errors, though, and led back-to-back touchdown drives to open the second half, helping the Patriots hold leads in all four quarters as 9.5-point road underdogs.

“I think that just goes back to the way you prepare throughout the week in practice,” Zappe said on WEEI. “As far as me, my teammates, coaches, we prepared really hard throughout the week leading up to the game, and I think that’s what translated onto the field of being calm, cool and collected. Honestly, for me, I think that’s being prepared, watching film, practicing, going through every reps, treating every rep in practice as it’s a game rep. That just leads to being calm on the field.”

It remains to be seen whether Zappe will get his first professional start when the Patriots host the Detroit Lions this Sunday, as the recovery timetables for Jones and Hoyer are unclear. Jones did not practice last week after injuring his ankle in New England’s Week 3 loss to Baltimore. Hoyer was knocked out of the Green Bay game with a concussion and did not return.

Head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t say whether the Patriots plan to add another quarterback to their roster or practice squad this week, but they likely will need to unless Jones and/or Hoyer is ready to practice Wednesday.

Wynn’s status also is up in the air entering Week 5. After three consecutive disappointing performances, the Patriots could opt to hand his starting spot to veteran Marcus Cannon, who replaced him in the second half Sunday and played well.

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Thumbnail photo via Wm. Glasheen/Appleton Post-Crescent via USA TODAY Sports Images
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