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New England Patriots star claims locker room was divided on QB situation in 2022

It seems that it was not just NFL media and New England Patriots fans that were divided on who should have been the team’s starting quarterback during the 2022 season. The team’s locker room was also unsure of who was the best option in the mess that was their offense.

Last year was as frustrating a season as the New England Patriots have had in a long time. After a couple of decades as the league’s dynasty team and a major transition away from future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady as their quarterback, the organization seemed to have charted a winning path forward.

They drafted Alabama signal-caller Mac Jones and he helped lead the team to a 10-7 record in 2021. The sky looked to be the limit in year two for the QB and the team. However, that quickly changed when it became apparent that Matt Patricia would not be up to the task of replacing Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator following his departure to be the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

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With the offense being a shell of its former self early in the season under Patricia, backup Bailey Zappe brought life to the unit in October when he filled in for an injured Jones. His strong performances opened the door to an unexpected QB controversy in New England as some in the media and fanbase thought the rookie might be a better option for the rest of the season.

New England Patriots record (2022): 8-9, third place in AFC East

new england patriots
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it looks like the locker room was also split on the right path forward for the team on offense last season. In an interview with WEEI last week, now-retired Patriots star Devin McCourty spoke about the team’s QB controversy last season and explained how his teammates were divided on which player to go with because of how ineffective the unit was under Patricia.

“I think there were some guys in the locker room that was like ‘Let’s go with Zappe.’ Or ‘No, Mac looked good today.’ It was just a back-and-forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback. We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope.”

– Devin McCourty (h/t Pro Football Talk)

The New England Patriots replaced Patrica this offseason with former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

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