It seems that if Bill Belichick and Mac Jones are going to go down, they’re going to go down together.
Belichick said Sunday night that Jones will continue to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback. The head coach was asked about his relationship with Jones on WEEI Monday morning, months after offseason reports of friction between the two.
“Yeah, I’ve had a good relationship with Mac since he’s been here,” Belichick said on “The Greg Hill Show.” “I’ve met with him on a regular basis. We have a good line of communication. He works hard. I have a lot of respect for what he does.”
Jones was benched for the second straight week in Sunday’s 34-0 loss to the Saints. Belichick cited the score when asked Sunday why Jones was pulled from the game. He was asked Monday morning if it was also an effort to preserve Jones’ health.
“I think the whole situation of the game was just — I felt was the best thing to do at the time,” Belichick told reporters via video conference call. “There was a lot of things that went into it. But yeah, that would be part of it. Just the way the game had gone and so forth. It was multiple things.”
Belichick became testy when asked a follow-up on if he believes Bailey Zappe, who has replaced Jones in consecutive games, is a viable starting option. Zappe was cut after poor performances in training camp and preseason and began September on the team’s practice squad before signing back to the 53-man roster.
“Yeah, I’m sure if I had left Mac in the game and he had gotten injured, you would have been asking me why he was still in the game when it was 31-0,” Belichick said in response to the question about Zappe. “It is what it is.”
Belichick then was asked again about Zappe’s viability as a starter.
“Look, I have confidence in all of the players on the team,” Belichick said. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t be on the team. So, every player that’s on the team, I have confidence in.”
Zappe won two starts last season as Jones’ backup. He’s just 7-of-18 for 79 yards in two appearances this season.
The team also has veteran Will Grier on their 53-man roster. He’s served as an emergency third QB in three straight weeks. Belichick didn’t seem to be in a rush to move him up the depth chart when asked Friday.