Patriots' Bill Belichick not ready to name Week 12 starting QB: 'I've told everybody to be ready to go'
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn’t keen to publicly name a starting quarterback ahead of New England’s Week 12 matchup with the New York Giants.
“I’ve told all the players the same thing. Be ready to go,” Belichick told reporters on Tuesday morning. “So, hopefully they will be.”
Pressed multiple times about the looming decision at QB, the head coach provided different variations of the same response: “I’ve told everybody to be ready to go.”
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Whether or not he’s keeping a decision close to chest for a competitive advantage, this conundrum has been brewing all season for the 2-8 Patriots.
Bill Belichick has relegated third-year quarterback Mac Jones to the sidelines during a couple of games this year, but while he did so in October during a blowout loss to the Cowboys that was far out of reach, Belichick benched Jones in Week 10 for the final drive of a 10-6 game against the Colts.
Jones had thrown for just 170 yards at the time and ended the previous possession with a red-zone interception.
Bailey Zappe took over with a chance to play the hero. He, too, threw an interception — with this one ending the game.
That’s been the story of Belichick’s most disappointing campaign with New England in 24 years in charge. The Patriots currently hold the No. 3 overall pick for a 2024 draft that is potentially ripe with QB talent, but for now they need someone under center capable of providing some kind of positivity down the stretch.
Jones, three years removed from his own first-round selection, hasn’t done much of that in his 10 starts this year. He’s thrown for 2,031 yards with 10 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, a 65.4 completion percentage and a career-low 80.2 passer rating.
Since throwing for 316 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener, he’s eclipsed 250 yards passing just once more. He’s endured more games without a TD pass (four) than he’s had without an interception (two).
Zappe, who also replaced Jones at times last year, has gone 10 of 25 for 104 yards and a pick across three games this season.
There’s also Will Grier, who had a promising preseason with the Cowboys, and dual-threat Malik Cunningham, currently on the practice squad.
Belichick would not rule anyone out Tuesday, nor did he provide the slightest indication that anyone was the favorite to start against the 3-8 Giants and undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito.
“I’ll let you know on Sunday,” Belichick said.
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