The New England Patriots are solely playing for pride at this point in the season after being eliminated from playoff contention. That didn't make Sunday's victory any less sweeter, however, as the team pulled off a thrilling last-second win over the Denver Broncos.
Recently reinstated starter Bailey Zapper played a key role in that road upset, making some serious plays under center to notch his second W in three weeks.
Zappe's latest performances have prompted fans to compare him and the demoted Mac Jones, who burned the Pats more this season than any other player. Amid these outside conversations, those inside the building offered some words to the former No. 15 pick.
At his Tuesday press conference, offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was asked what he'd tell Jones at this point in the year. O'Brien decided to reiterate his faith in the signal-caller, praising him for being a "very hard worker" and "good teammate."
The accomplished coach noted that while this isn't where Jones would like to be, he believes the Alabama product is "going to be just fine."
This is a nice backing from an important figure in Jones' life. Surely he's not feeling the most confident considering his play in 2023 and demotion, but these kind words from a coach he works closely with are certainly nice to hear.
Of course, it might be tough for Jones to look at the bigger picture at this moment. Zappe's stepped in and given the offense new life, with teammates seeming to rally around the 2022 draft pick. That's prompted singing of Zappe's praises while also dragging Jones' name, which can't be the easiest thing to take.
All Jones can do now is continue to put on a happy face and be supportive as the year winds down. That being said, it'd be no surprise if he's already played his last game in a Patriots uniform.
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