NFL Rumors: Bill Belichick playing Mac Jones was a ‘middle-finger’ to Robert Kraft
Bill Belichick reportedly spite starting Mac Jones over Bailey Zappe is the content our souls crave.
Nothing quite like a good, ole spite start, am I right? As expected, quarterbacking issues were the downfall of the Bill Belichick New England Patriots. But what wasn’t expected was it had everything to do with Mac Jones, not necessarily about Tom Brady. The change of guard at the helm of the quarterback position led to a fracture that could not mended between Belichick and Robert Kraft.
Seth Wickersham and Wright Thompson’s combined feature for ESPN.com revealed what led to the demise of The Patriot Way. As illustrated by the title of the article, it was, until it wasn’t… One thing Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk pointed out that was a majorly divisive issue organizationally was Belichick reportedly spite starting Jones after he should have been benched in favor of Bailey Zappe.
Belichick committed coaching malpractice by thinking he could have Matt Patricia and Joe Judge be his offensive coaches to replace Josh McDaniels after the QB’s rookie year. Jones was a Pro Bowler in his first season with the Patriots out of Alabama. His play helped get McDaniels the Las Vegas Raiders job that he eventually squandered within two years. After the 2021 season, the Patriots were cooked.
After nearly a quarter century on the job, Belichick is looking for another job, now in his early 70s.
NFL Rumors: Did Bill Belichick spite start Mac Jones in New England?
I think what all this boils down to is Belichick made a huge mistake in how he evaluated Brady. He thought he was done some five or six years ago. Brady still played at a high level into his final season in the league last year. He won a Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, helping this former NFC South doormat return to the NFC Playoffs for the first time in a decade.