FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts. Quick-impact thoughts and notes about the New England Patriots and the NFL:
1. Happy with Zappe: One of the most compelling moments of ESPN’s broadcast on the third day of 2022 NFL Draft It came when the Patriots chose the quarterback for Western Kentucky Billy Zappy Late in the fourth round (No. 137).
The host told Davis’s receiving of what many Patriots followers were thinking: Help me understand this choice – especially after the selection Mac Jones In the first round the previous year, and with other prominent needs, particularly in defense.
That sparked an insightful discussion with analysts Todd McShay and Louis Riddick, which covered how good it could be to craft and develop a quarterback.
It was in connection with former NFL General Manager Randy Mueller, who served in front offices at the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins, and was named the 2000 NFL CEO of the Year while with the Saints. Welcome to choose Zappe.
“I wasn’t surprised. At that point in the draft, you were trying to identify traits in players that maybe not everyone would see. And I think Bill [Belichick] He and his crew have done as good a job in this field as any in all areas in all positions.”
“I see a lot of positives in Bailey Zappe. When you get to day three of the draft, I think it’s very difficult to turn your back, no matter what position. It seems like everyone wants to cater all the time. [the draft], but I mean more by having the best group of players and not bypassing the good players to fill the needs. And I think Billy was one of those guys, though I don’t think everyone sees that.”
Muller, who now runs Muller’s football consulting services, studied all of the quarterbacks in the draft. While the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Zappe was the fifth pick, Mueller ranked him second after only the first round pick. Kenny Beckett (No. 20 on the Steelers).
“Everyone’s standards are always a little different, but what I’ve seen is a guy who sees, anticipates and handles, all from the pocket, along with some accuracy and the ability to make every throw because he has a lot of arm,” Mueller said.
“I’m not looking for 6-foot-1 quarterbacks, per se, but he plays a lot bigger than that. The fact that he has the vision and anticipation out of the pocket; I’m not saying he’s Drew Brees or Russell Wilson Or anything, but he’s…he’s trending more in that streak just because of his predictive skill set. “
Zappe’s production was off the charts in 2021, when he completed 475 of 686 (69.2%) passes for 5,967 yards, with 61 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He had moved to Western Kentucky from Houston Baptiste, after offensive coordinator Zach Keatley.
Muller noted that the system that Zappe runs, along with his production and skill set, rate him very highly.
“For me, there’s a leap of faith in being able to process, anticipate, stick to time, and keep exercising just enough to move inside the pocket,” he said.
“I think he’s a natural player, throwing on the right track, with a touch. A lot of things in the second and third tiers he does, I’ve seen professional midfielders after four or five years they still haven’t been able to do. So I think he’s more along the learning curve than I give him credit for. in that “.
2. Muller memory: When Mueller spent 2002 to 2005 working as an analyst for ESPN, he visited the Patriots training – the first time he had attended a training camp other than the club he worked at. One thing he saw that day resonated.
“I remember watching Tom Brady, this was in the third or fourth year of his career, and his attention to detail with the movement of his foot in the pocket. The fact that he was still working on those things stuck with me forever, Mueller said, adding that it changed his point of view when evaluating the position.
“I think that’s one of the things Tom doesn’t get enough credit for — [movement] Inside the pocket – with the movement of the feet and everything else. I’ve also seen some of that with Billy [Zappe]. “
3. Early riser: Patriots assistant Joe Judge, who works with the quarterbacks, said Zappy was at the team’s facility very early Tuesday morning “trying to move on.” This diligence is often the best way to make a strong first impression on coaches. It may also be necessary, such as a Zappe receiver Tekwan Thornton And back to back Pierre Strong Jr. Leave town later in the week to attend NFLPA Rookie Premiere In California, the annual event that introduces the best marketing beginners to sponsors.
4- Kraft note: Who knows? When Patriots owner Robert Kraft received a lifetime achievement award from Sports Business magazine on Wednesday night, Eli Manning told the audience how he received a handwritten letter of congratulations from Kraft about five days after the Manning Giants shocked the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. “The impact of the handwritten note has made an impression on me after all these years,” Manning said.
5. Honor Vince: The date for Vince Wilfork’s Patriots Hall of Fame presentation is TBD, but it would be fitting if he were honored at the first half of his September 25 opening major game against the Ravens. That’s because Wilfork said that if there was one notable game in his career, it was the 23-20 win over Baltimore in the AFC Championship on January 22, 2012, when he rose in the fourth quarter to find success. Two clutches play on defense – Tearing up backrunner Ray Rice in the 3rd and 3rd run and then teasing quarterback Joe Flacco On the fourth stop down.
6. Perkins Preparation: The Patriots have a notable void at the opposite outer back Matthew Goodonand 2021 third round Ronnie Perkins Oklahoma is one of the candidates to fill it. Perkins did not appear in a regular season game as a rookie, in part because he was buried in a depth chart behind him. Kyle Van NuyAnd Jimmy Collins and others. Outfield quarterback coach Steve Belichick said Perkins has stayed at Foxboro all season to position himself in the best position to “take a step forward.”
“All that really matters at the end of the day is what happens when we wear the pads,” Belichick said. “But he did everything right up until this point.”
7. Wade’s New Beginning: The Patriots traded rounds 5 and 7 picks for the rising corner Shawn Wade From the Ravens last September, but appeared in only three games as a reserve due to a combination of acclimatization to the new system and injuries. Cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino said it’s a “new start” for the 6-foot-1, 191-pound Wade, who is “a taller guy with good pace.” Pellegrino also noted that Wade has improved this season after targeting a few undisclosed training points.
The Patriots have a wide open competition in the corner that also includes Galen MillsAnd Malcolm ButlerAnd Jonathan JonesAnd Marcus JonesAnd Jack Jones And Terrence Mitchell“The best players will play,” Pellegrino repeated several times.
Wade’s place—similar to Perkins in the Outback—is one of New England’s many off-the-radar storylines.
8. Fins: Why does the Patriots open the season with the Dolphins for the third year in a row? Partly because Miami asked to be on the road in week two because of Lady Gaga’s concert at Hard Rock Stadium that week. This increased their odds of being at home in the opening week, narrowing their opponent’s options to seven teams (Buffalo was already locked in the Rams’ encounter). The Patriots were the choice when balancing other considerations, but don’t expect the Patriots-Dolphin to open on Sunday in 2023. “I assure you we’ll be watching New England-Miami in the first week next year,” said NFL Vice President of the NFL Broadcasting Mike North .
9. Walsh’s Legacy: Ross Douglas joined the Patriots in 2021 with the official title of NFL Coaching Fellowship/Defense, and switched over to work with the recipients alongside Troy Brown this spring. Avon, Ohio, credits New England Skills Development Manager Jo Kim for helping him get his feet up, as Douglas first met Kim when he took his taekwondo class at the age of five. He also takes credit for the late Bill Walsh, because Douglas’ position was made possible through his position Diversity Fellowship Program.
“She means everything to me,” Douglas said. “There are so many good football coaches and so many talented minorities, it’s hard to get into the NFL premises — whether it’s because of a lack of resources, a lack of connections. So this is our gateway.”
10. Did you know? There were four NFL teams that played their first two regular games last season on the road, and that’s how the Patriots will open the 2022 season (in Miami and Pittsburgh). The 49ers and Broncos won both games, the Cowboys split, and the Vikings lost both.