Losing your job is tough, but having to help the guy who took it from you? Even tougher.
That's exactly what New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had to do after losing his starting role to second-year QB Bailey Zappe, who indicated the Alabama man did everything he could to help the team win following his demotion.
"He helped a lot, as far as the preparation throughout the week," Zappe said of Jones on WEEI's "Jones and Mego". "Me watching film, him watching film, sometimes I pick up on things, he picks up on things, and we just combined minds, all four of us -- me, Will [Grier], Malik [Cunningham], all those guys. Whatever we see, we tell the others."
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It wasn't just pregame preparation that Jones helped with, either. According to Zappe, Jones was active on the sidelines during the Patriots' 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, helping the fourth-round draft pick navigate his first start of the season.
"He [Jones] helped a lot, especially in the game," Zappe added. "If he saw some things, he'd let me or O.B. [Bill O'Brien] know, and we'd try to have awareness of it going into the next drive."
With uncertainty at the quarterback position in the Patriot offense, even up to kickoff, frustration and bitterness can easily build up with the two young QBs competing for the sole starting job. Zappe confirmed that neither he nor Jones let it bother them, with both of them solely focused on winning games.
"He's a good teammate," Zappe added of Jones. "I think, between both of us, we both want to win. That's the main thing. Whoever is out there, we are going to try and help each other out to achieve that goal."
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While Zappe didn't necessarily shine in his first start of the season, completing just 13 of his 25 attempts for 141 yards, he was able to refrain from turning the ball over -- something Jones has struggled with this season. In his 11 games played this season, Jones has already logged 12 interceptions and three fumbles.
With a short week ahead, taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night, Zappe confirms that no decision has been made on which quarterback will get the start.
"I'm not sure [who's starting this week]," he said. "I'm sure Coach Belichick will tell us that this week sometime, but like last week, I'll keep that private."