Do Your Job - Appreciate Bailey Zappe's Journey
DO YOUR JOB
An Account of the 2022 New England Patriots Season
This kid has done plenty of special things to get here. Why not give him a shot? PIC: Michael Reaves, Getty Images
Take a look at Steve Buckley's work in The Athletic and you'll see how much this meant to the small city of Victoria, Texas - stuck smack dab between Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Houston.
Bailey Zappe was one of Victoria East HS's best. His senior season, coaches & fans knew he was destined for greatness after he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and three shy of 40 touchdowns. If that's not enough for you, he rushed for over 600 and found the end zone 15 times on the ground. Although everyone in Victoria saw it, not many others did...that is, except Houston Baptist, his only scholarship offer, and off he went.
After redshirting his freshman year, he had a few solid seasons with the Huskies, throwing for 3800 yards in 2019. But when HBU's offensive coordinator Zach Kittley took the same post at Western Kentucky, he followed, hoping for a change of scenery.
Well, it certainly worked out for all involved. Game 1 was the indicator of how this would end up - 424 yards and SEVEN touchdowns. Yes, 7. Fall of 2021 proved to be record-breaking - he now stands on top of the entire NCAA for a single-season's best in both passing yards (5,967) and touchdowns (62). Easy to understand why.
Flash forward - Brian Hoyer gets hurt on Sunday at Lambeau, and with only one remaining QB dressed for New England in Week 4, the Texas kid gets his shot.
Yes, it was far from the best performance he's ever had at any level of football. He threw for 99 yards and a touchdown in the loss. But the important thing? He showed poise, grew more comfortable with the offensive scheme and eventually settled his nerves down to make some solid throws.
Now, as ABC6's Nick Coit saw with his own two eyes, all eyes are on Bailey Zappe in Foxboro.
Oddly enough, this reminds me of another doubted quarterback in 2001...eh, forget it, you don't wanna hear the comparisons.
But, realistically, it does beg the question of what happens next. Mac Jones is a captain, and he's not going anywhere. But if the Pats are truly serious about Jones as the quarterback of the future, they can afford to rest him another week.
And, as for Zappe? Well, how about another shot? He'll be coming home to Gillette Stadium to take on a Lions defense that gave up 48 points the week prior. The offensive play caller(s) (yeah, I'm looking at you, Matt Patricia) should design their game plan 100% around Zappe's strengths - courageous deep passes, creativity in targeting receivers, and not being afraid to trust his WR's speed & ability to get open. This is a far cry from what we've seen schematically from Patricia & his cronies so far this season. If I were Bill, I'd tell him to stay the hell out of the way this week and let the man cook.
Who knows...maybe he'll be there to stay. Crazier things have happened.