One of the saddest parts of the current state of the Patriots’ quarterback position is that despite the fact that five starters around the NFL have suffered season-ending injuries and three have been benched — plus whatever is going on with Aaron Rodgers — the Pats still have one of the worst current situations in the league.
It would be difficult to argue that the Patriots have a top-25 starting QB on their roster even with Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson, Daniel Jones, Kirk Cousins and Anthony Richardson being out for the year.
So, who should start in Week 12 when the Patriots return from their bye week? There are a lot of questions surrounding the Patriots’ QBs in this week’s mailbag. Let’s tackle them.
Any chance Will Grier makes a move up and gets more reps?
What’s the situation with Adrian Klemm? I thought he would have more impact and this O line is responding poorly.
I think anything is potentially on the table at quarterback. Personally, I would start Will Grier next Sunday against the Giants. I don’t believe you can go back to Mac Jones after benching him in that situation last week with the game on the line and two minutes to go. Bill Belichick gave up on him, and there’s no reason for any player in the locker room to have confidence in him because they know their head coach doesn’t either. And I don’t think you can turn to Bailey Zappe either. He’s been worse than Jones. And I’ve heard he’s been just as bad in practice.
Turning to someone like Will Grier is a reset. There are no preconceived notions about Grier. He came in after a solid preseason with the Cowboys and has spent most of his practice time with the Patriots on the scout team. And if he’s terrible? Who cares? It only improves the Patriots’ draft pick anyway, and they can just turn to another quarterback on the roster.
I asked one team source if they believed Jones would be benched. He said he’s done predicting what Belichick will do but could see the Patriots going week-to-week on the decision.
As for Adrian Klemm, we’ll see if and when the offensive line coach returns. Patriots players have talked about the medical issue he’s facing as a pretty serious situation. Klemm certainly didn’t fix the offensive line like many expected him to do this season. At the same time, look at what Belichick gave him to work with. They basically told him to make things work without a right tackle this season until finally agreeing to move Mike Onwenu over there.
Do you think they will give Malik an actual chance to see what he can do in a game to make an informed decision for next year?
I don’t think it’s likely, but I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility. Cunningham was the team’s backup quarterback five weeks ago. Heading into Week 6, he had ascended above Zappe and Grier on the depth chart.
The Patriots do believe that Cunningham gives them potential based on his athleticism. They also believe turnovers could be an issue with the undrafted free agent. But they’ve been an issue with Jones anyway.
Grier makes the most sense to start Week 12. But if he falters, I’d give Cunningham the next chance. Why not? What is there to lose at this point? See what you have in everyone on the roster all the way down to the practice squad.
Do I think Cunningham is a good enough passer to be a starting quarterback in the NFL? No, I do not. But there’s only one way to find out, and he’s certainly the best potential playmaker the Patriots have at that position.
Do you really see Mac starting vs the NYG
It’s a strong possibility based on what we saw at practice on Wednesday, but the Patriots also might have just been messing with the media by giving Jones the top QB reps in team drills. I would not start Jones. I also would not be surprised in the least bit if Belichick went back to him next week, however. I might even view it as the most likely scenario.
Major changes are required in NE across multiple areas. With a number of players out of contract at the end of the season, which players should the franchise prioritise retaining?
If I had to power rank which free agents the Patriots should bring back, I’d go: 1. Mike Onwenu, 2. Kyle Dugger, 3. Kendrick Bourne, 4. Trent Brown, 5. Hunter Henry, 6. Josh Uche.
if BB leaves what NFL team would be the best fit for him? not necessarily where he would go
I do believe the Commanders are the best fit. Ron Rivera has a lot of power in that organization. Belichick could be granted the same final say if he replaces him.
Assuming everyone is healthy which OL combo do you want to see?
TB – CS – DA – SS – MO
TB – CS – DA – MO – CM
TB – SS – DA – MO – CM
LT Trent Brown, LG Cole Strange, C David Andrews, RG Sidy Sow, RT Mike Onwenu.
Am I crazy for wanting Marvin Harrison jr over any other QB
I don’t think that’s crazy. But there’s no guarantee the Patriots will be picking this high in the draft again, and they desperately need a new quarterback. Marvin Harrison, Jr. does feel like a safe pick to be a dominant player, however.
Has Mac Jones always been garbage or did the Patriots/Belichick fail him and break any potential he had?
Jones has always been a physically limited player. I don’t know if he was always this prone for mistakes, however, because he had such a dominant team around him at Alabama it might have masked some of his mental errors. He rarely faced pressure and could simply chuck it up to Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and bank on them coming down with it.
But the Patriots definitely did cause at least part of his downfall by not putting a talented enough offense around him. I think the three coordinators in three years thing is a bit overblown. It’s still ultimately the same offense.