There’s a glitch in the Stepford Patriot machinery.
At a time when coach Bill Belichick’s official position is that the plan all along was to play both quarterback Mac Jones and quarterback Bailey Zappe on Monday night, multiple players didn’t get the memo. More surprisingly, there were willing to say so.
Thanks to the return of the open locker room after two years of no access due to COVID, reporters were able to talk directly to players in a setting far less formal than the post-game press-conference podium, where talking points are more easily uttered. In the more casual setting, the unvarnished truth is more likely to be inadvertently blurted out.
“We weren’t aware,” running back Rhamondre Stevenson told Mark Daniels of MassLive.com. Via Daniels, Stevenon didn’t know Zappe would be playing until he entered with game with 11:55 remaining in the first half.
Receiver Jakobi Meyers also wasn’t aware that it would be a two-quarterback night.
“I would say it’s a shock, but we don’t really have time to focus on it too much,” Meyers said, via Daniels. “The bullets are already flying by the time we realized it. You have to go out there and keep making plays.”
The move, which Belichick claims was pre-planned, came after fans were chanting for Zappe.
“You hate to see one of your brothers treated like that,” Meyers said of the rejection of Mac by the paying customers. “You want to see him do well. You want to see everybody do well, including Zappe, but as far as getting caught up in it, you really don’t have time to really focus on the decisions being made.”
“Those decisions are beyond me,” tight end Hunter Henry said, honoring the “Do Your Job” mantra that typically permeates the entire organization. “You have to ask coach about that one. We all have a job to do, so it doesn’t matter who it is behind center. We have to go and do our job.”
Stevenson and Meyers may be hearing today, pointedly, that it’s not their job to talk about whether they did or didn’t know that Zappe would be playing. Their job is to say as little as possible, as often as possible.
It’s the Patriot Way. The Stepford Patriot Way.