As I've already stated, if people want to burn calories believing there's a quarterback situation brewing in New England, I'm all about living that life.
As Shakespeare put it in Twelfth Night, if QB controversies be the food of love, play on. Or whatever.
The idea that after one partial game and one start out of Bailey Zappe, impressive though they may have been, are enough to dethrone the king of the Pats quarterback room is patently absurd on its face. But I love a good farce as much as anyone. If journos want to take a promising start to a rookie's career and turn it into the saloon brawl from Blazing Saddles, the popcorn's on me. You waste your time as you see fit, and I'll enjoy mine watching you do it.
Enter Pro Football Talk, who is taking New England's QB Non-troversy to the next illogical level:
Yahoo - Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio claimed he had reason to believe there was “quiet friction” brewing that could potentially “boil over” due to how the coaching staff changes have been handled.
“Let me be careful how I frame this because I don’t really have this nailed down yet, but I have reason to believe there’s something between Mac Jones and the coaching staff,” said Florio. “…I think Mac may be a little disconcerted with the quality of the coaching this year.
“You go from Josh McDaniels last year to this amalgamation of Joe Judge and Matt Patricia, two guys who weren’t offensive coaches before they became head coaches, before they failed as head coaches. And now, Matt Patricia calling the plays. I have reason to believe there’s some quiet friction there that could boil over at some point.”
Where do I even begin to deconstruct the absolute wrongness expressed here? You could take every point Florio is making, slap them randomly on the Price is Right Big Wheel and spin it, and the arrow will land on something that makes no sense. Even allowing for the fact he more or less admits he's not basing this on anything he can confirm.
But what the hell. Let me just start with the coaching part. Yes, the Patriots spend a good chunk of the offseason installing a new offensive scheme. Reportedly it was going to look more like the ones run by Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. But as camp and the preseason rolled on, and it was having less and less success, it was used less and less. I defy anyone to watch the last few games with Matt Patricia talking into the Waffle House menu and any game from last year and spot for me the difference in the runs, passes, play actions, motions, reads and so on. Unless I seriously need a checkup with my optometrist, this is the Erhardt-Perkins scheme they've been operating since Charlie Weis in 2000. Of course with learning something new there is going to be a level of frustration. Whether that's a new language, driving a manual transmission or a new offensive system. But that argument - if there even was one - became a moot point sometime in August.
Now, if the problem is the coaching staff's appalling lack of Josh McDaniels, ask people in Las Vegas how they feel about him:
McDaniels can't get a drink comped for himself if he's playing the $100 Black Jack tables right now. So let's pump the brakes on calling Matt Patricia and Joe Judge total incompetents. Especially when they just won a game 29-0 with Zappe making his first start. And especially especially when poor Al Michaels keeps having to call one touchdownless puntfest after another. There are plenty of offenses struggling right now. Yes, the Pats need to do better. But let's just let Patricia's offense have major issues before we start talking about major issues, if that's not to much to ask.
Finally, let's go right to the heart of this. The "quiet friction" that's about to "boil over." Which presumes, what? That Mac Jones can't handle Bill Belichick's style? That maybe his doesn't respond well to being coached hard? To have much demanded of him? To be given much responsibilty and a lot of information and held accountable for how well he performs? I mean, has he ever had to work for a coach who operates the way Belichick does?
Oh right. The only other relationship he's had with a coach just happened to be from the one guy who operates exactly like the one he's got "friction" with now. Belichick and Nick Saban are football's Romulus and Remus. Twins fathered by the war god Mars and suckled by the same she-wolf to coach football (but without all the messy fratricide). But now we're being asked to believe that Jones can't hack it, now that he's a grizzled veteran of 24 years old and 20 career starts.
When the truth is, that one of the things that made Jones the perfect choice to replace Tom Brady was precisely because he played under Saban. That he not only survived the crucible of Saban's demanding style, but he thrived on it. We know he can take it because he has. Now we're supposed to think that what? He's a delicate, fragile, Hummel figurine who needs to be handled with care or else something is going to "boil over"? Not a chance.
If this is friction, I'll have all you got, thanks:
It's going to feel so good when this team goes on a win streak like they had last year and we get to produce all the receipts from this crazy time. Get well soon, Mac Jones. It can't come soon enough.