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Here’s what Bill Belichick said about Patriots quarterbacks, including Malik Cunningham

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Belichick didn’t say if Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe would start against the Chargers in Week 13.

Bill Belichick during the Patriots’ loss to the Giants. AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Bill Belichick was asked about the Patriots’ quarterback situation during his Wednesday press conference. Once again, he refused to reveal if Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, or someone else would be named as starter prior to the team’s home game against the Chargers on Sunday.

“I’m not going to make any announcements on our lineup at any position,” Belichick replied when asked how the quarterback depth chart was taking shape. “So, it doesn’t matter what the position is. We’ll see how practice goes, see if everybody is ready to go. Hopefully everybody is ready to go, see what the injury situation is, and we’ll go with who we think is best on Sunday.”

Belichick was questioned about why he appeared to be taking the same approach to the situation as the prior week (when he didn’t name a starter before Jones took the field as starter against the Giants in the 10-7 Week 12 loss).

“I didn’t say that,” he responded. “I said I’m not going to announce anything.”

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As for how he views Jones’s performance — the third-year quarterback has thrown just 10 touchdowns compared with 12 interceptions — Belichick took a wider view.

“We haven’t won enough games, so I don’t think anybody has performed well enough,” he said. “We all need to do a better job.”

Aside from Jones and Zappe, undrafted rookie Malik Cunningham (who has featured as both a receiver and a quarterback in limited play in 2023) was a subject of discussion.

Belichick talked about how Cunningham has been used as a quarterback in practice, depending on the opponent that week.

“There are other players that are practicing at quarterback as well,” Belichick said. “He’s not the only guy out there. And then it depends a little bit on the offense that we’re seeing. If we’re seeing offenses that run plays that he’s very good at running — teams like Philadelphia, the first Miami game — then he gets, I mean, they’re practice squad reps, but they’re also reps on things that he does.

“He’s kind of a unique player,” Belichick added. “Things aren’t straight-line with him. He’s different than probably every other player we have on the team, so he’s handled differently.”

The Patriots also re-signed another quarterback, Will Grier, to the practice squad after cutting him days before.

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While he isn’t likely to play, Belichick said that Grier still needs to be “ready to play.”

“All the players that are on the practice squad are, unless they’ve used all their practice squad elevations, are eligible to be practice squad elevated,” he explained. “Other players could be signed to the roster, like we did with Conor [McDermott] last week, who was out of elevations. So, if they’re on the practice squad they’re eligible and are preparing. They should be ready to play and potentially are ready to play. That includes everybody.”

New England, 2-9 through 11 games in the 2023 season, haven’t been able to find a groove on offense regardless of the quarterback. The Patriots currently rank 31st in the league in points scored.

Source: Boston Globe

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