Time and again, certain football experts say winning isn’t relevant to quarterbacks. Time and again, football people are drawn to quarterbacks who win.
Consider the assessment of Patriots director of player personnel on newly-drafted Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe.
“You put on the film of Bailey Zappe and it’s hard not to like him,” Groh told reporters on Saturday regarding Zappe, a fourth-round pick and the fifth quarterback drafted. “It’s a lot of completions, it’s a lot of touchdown passes, and it’s a lot of wins. This guy is a winner, the way he’s able to lead and command his team.
“He’s got a lot of great traits that you want in a quarterback. Most importantly, success, with the way he’s able to produce on the field and do what’s right for the team and get the ball to the playmakers, which he was fortunate enough to have at Houston Baptist and at Western Kentucky.”
Zappe obviously won’t have many chances to win in New England, given the presence of second-year starter Mac Jones. Groh was asked about the benefit of drafting a quarterback despite having a young starter in the early years of his rookie deal.
“There’s always value in having good players on your team,” Groh said, “and Bailey is a good player and he’s going to add value to our team. It’s going to be up to him to kind of carve out what role that is here initially and then going forward. . . . One guy is only on the field, but you’d better have another good one or two or three or whoever it is in the system coming up, because you never know when those guys are going to be needed, and if you’re short at that position, you’re going to be in real trouble. Just like a college program that might bring in a highly recruited quarterback one year, you can’t really afford to skip a year. You’ve got to have plenty of talent there at that position, and we had an opportunity to add Bailey and tried to add some good value to the quarterback position.”
This doesn’t mean Zappe is a threat to Jones. But football is the ultimate meritocracy, and the Patriots are the ultimate example of allowing the best players to play. If Zappe ever beats out Jones, so be it.