This is how this is supposed to work around here. The way it always has worked, back when the people of the six-state region that is jammed into the upper right hand corner of America were sane and rational. A young backup quarterback who's shown some promise when pressed into duty is out enjoying his personal time and gets treated like the mid-level, B-list celebrity he is. The way it was done from Rohan Davey to Kliff Kingsbury, Matt Cassel to Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. Back then, there was an order to things. A hierarchy, that everyone understood. There was The Man, and then there was The Man's emergency backup. We all understood their respective roles. Everything made sense, and life unfolded according to our Creator's grand plan.
But we no longer live in those times. That QB2 role is now in the hands of Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky, who looked plenty competent enough for the first 10 or so quarters of his career. Particularly in his second start, when he completed 24-of-34 for 309 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions (118.4 passer rating) in a blowout win over Cleveland. But then in his next game, he came off the bench and played like a rookie from Western Kentucky. With two picks in the span of seven pass attempts in a bad loss to Chicago. As one would expect. Growing pains and all that.
Were we living in a time of logic and enlightenment, we'd all consider this a positive. The guy we didn't know much about answered some questions. Showed he belongs. Gave us hope that when his services are required, we'll be in good hands. Until we no longer have to call upon him, and he can go back to his assigned duties, standing around wearing a hat and holding a clumsy blue tablet that never works.
But let me repeat myself. We no longer live in those times. If a deranged anarchist with a scarred face covered in clown makeup wanted to create mass hysteria and drive us into chaos, he couldn't do a better job than Patriots fans are doing to ourselves. We get one report that Bill Belichick is shopping Mac Jones around - which has been shot down by no less than four Patriots beat reporters and has yet to be corroborated by anyone - and everybody loses their minds.
Like with gravity, all it takes is a little push.
Which brings us, at long last, to the latest insanity:
Which is being widely repeated, and reported, as the Patriots locker room being "split" over Jones vs. Zappe. And yes, Dan Patrick does use that word as he tells of how he asked a former Patriots player to ask around and find out what current Pats think. While much more specifically saying, "There's a lot of support for Bailey Zappe. But that doesn't mean they're ready to turn the team over to Bailey Zappe." And conceding that, while Zappe put up a lot of yards (note: facing UTSA, Middle Tennessee and Charlotte), you don't replace the 15th pick in the draft after just two years.
But all anyone is hearing is "lot" "support" and "Zappe." Like that Far Side cartoon where the guy is yelling at his dog for being bad and all the dog is hearing is "Blah blah blah, Ginger! Blah Ginger blah blah!" the total focus is going to be that the Patriots locker room is happy with Zappe (that's unintentional, but it stay), and not the part that they know their future is with Mac Jones.
Twisting this into a lack of support for Jones is bonkers. If someone asked me what I think of Dante and I said "I really support my co-worker," you don't get to take the next illogical step and say I think he should replace Dave Portnoy. But it's how business is done right now.
I have it on good authority from an insider who reached out to me, that this is all the horseshit I've been saying it is. That even if Belichick was adamant about trading Mac - note that he is NOT - ownership would veto it. Every move that's been made since the end of the season has been done to give Jones the resources - coaching and personnel - to succeed. The way he did at Alabama, and the way he did the last time he had a truly offensive offensive coordinator. It's common sense. We just live in a world where, as the cliche goes, common sense gets less common by the day.