FOXBORO, Mass. — Jacoby Brissett called it the “elephant in the room.”

Jerod Mayo referred to it as an “awkward” situation.

But for New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe, the incumbent in a room full of newcomers, the organization’s makeover at signal-caller is just part of competition.

“I’ve been having fun, y’all,” Zappe said at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday after New England’s fourth OTA session.

Story continues below advertisement

The veteran Brissett has taken first-team reps in competitive periods thus far. Zappe has taken second-string reps with Drake Maye, the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, taking snaps with the threes and fellow rookie Joe Milton III behind Maye.

“They bring in guys every year, obviously,” Zappe said. “They want everybody to compete, and that’s what they’ve been telling us this entire time: Everybody’s going to get an opportunity, everybody’s going to compete. And just like Mayo said, it depends on what you do with that opportunity.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Zappe called the quarterback room a “tight-knit group” despite the fact its only been together a few weeks. And when asked if he sensed the awkwardness Mayo hinted at, Zappe said he hasn’t since the group got acquainted with one another.

“Once you get to know each other, you understand that everybody has the same common goal and that’s to win games,” Zappe said. “Obviously, we all want to go out. We all want to be the starter. But there’s only one guy that can go out there and all of us that aren’t out there need to help that guy no matter what.”

Story continues below advertisement

Zappe reaffirmed his current mindset is to compete for the starting job. That’s what he’s been told to do at this point, despite the fact Brissett feels like the short-term starter and Maye the obvious long-term answer.

“They’ve told all of us that there’s going to be a competition,” Zappe said. “Everybody’s going to have an opportunity to go out there and prove that they can be that guy. All four of us are going to do our best to do that, and then whoever gets that job, the other three of us are going to help that guy do whatever he can on the field to win games.”

Mayo believes Zappe has handled the change “fantastically.” The first-year head coach praised Zappe’s work ethic and professionalism.

Story continues below advertisement

Mayo indicated the Patriots would pare down the quarterback group from four to three ahead of training camp. That likely means Zappe and Milton, who was absent on Day 4 at Gillette Stadium, have two more weeks to prove they’re deserving of the third quarterback spot.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images