Bailey Zappe passed on an opportunity to leave the Patriots just because he wanted to be coached by the ‘greatest coach of all time’ Bill Belichick
Quarterback Zappe led his team to a much-needed 21-18 victory against the Steelers in week 14.
Bill Belichick and Bailey Zappe (Via Fox Sports/SI)
Earlier this year, in August, Bailey Zappe had a wide-open opportunity to leave the New England Patriots after being cut back and join any of the teams that were interested in signing him. However, the quarterback instead chose to sign with the Patriots practice squad, just for one reason — head coach Bill Belichick.
After the week 14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Zappe had a conversation with Amazon Prime’s sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung about the reason why he chose to stay with the Patriots, even though he had a fair chance to join another team.
The quarterback said:
I think the most important part is the relationship I have grown to have with these guys in the last two and a half years. To be able to be coached by the 'Greatest coach of all time' coach Belichick. Just learning from him…for me, it was an easy decision. To be able to have an opportunity to play here..you know..win games for the Patriots was an awesome feeling. It's something that I've dreamed of since I first started playing.
Even though, since the legendary quarterback Tom Brady left in 2020, the Patriots haven’t been the same. This season, the team had an even worse record than last season, as they are standing at 3-10. However, it’s the same team that had two dominating decades in the NFL, coached by arguably the greatest NFL coach Belichick. He alongside Brady led the team to their six Super Bowl wins, the highest count in the NFL tied with the Steelers.
So that surely hasn’t changed and players like Zappe acknowledge that. His decision to stay in the Patriots worked well for me, as his hard work finally paid off when he became the starting QB for the remaining weeks of his season.
Bailey Zappe led his team to a 21-18 victory against the Steelers
As Zappe was named the starting quarterback by head coach Belichick on December 5, he led his team to a much-needed 21-19 victory against the Steelers, who are standing at 7-6. Not just that, the quarterback impressed everyone by delivering the best half of quarterback play, seen in the Patriots after nearly two years.
Entering the game, Zappe built up an unbeatable lead with +11 total expected points (EPA) along with three touchdowns in the first two quarters. Despite being short-handed without lead-back Rhamondre Stevenson and three regular WRs, the Patriots still portrayed the best offensive half of this season.
The most important aspect that brought the Patriots’ offense to such an amazing level was the QB’s eye manipulation and assertive decision-making skills against the strong defense portrayed by the opponents, the Steelers.
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