Tag: Brian Hoyer

Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe Selected By The New England Patriots

Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. (PHOTO COURTESY: DraftWire.USAToday.com)

By Matt Noonan

Did the New England Patriots add some competition to its quarterback room?

Perhaps they did by selecting Bailey Zappe this afternoon in the fourth round of the 2022 National Football League (NFL) Draft.

Zappe quarterbacked Western Kentucky University last fall to a 9-5 overall record while establishing new single-season FBS records for passing yards (5,967) and touchdowns (62).

The 62 touchdown passes erased the original mark of 60, which was established by Joe Burrow in 2019.

Prior to becoming the quarterback at Western Kentucky, Zappe was spotted under center for three seasons (2018, 2019, and 2020) at Houston Baptist University, but elected to transfer after the Huskies’ 2020 season concluded after four games.

The team elected to not compete in the Southland Conference’s spring season.  

Zappe, who was selected with the 137th pick, may not be the flashiest quarterback selected in this year’s NFL Draft. However, he certainly seems to fit the “Patriot mold” given the squad may need an extra arm if Mac Jones were to get injured. Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham are still on the roster, but it is possible one or both quarterbacks may not make the final cut.

The Victoria, Texas native is not the biggest signal-caller or has the arm strength of North Carolina’s Sam Howell, but he does throw a “catchable ball” that should create some explosive plays. Zappe led all FBS signal-callers last fall in completions (51) and yards (1,805) on deep passes and could certainly develop into a capable backup quarterback.

With drafting Zappe, it’s possible Jarrett Stidham’s time in New England could be coming to an end. The 2019 draftee, who has played eight games for the Patriots, could be a valuable target for some teams looking for a younger backup quarterback.

As of this afternoon, it seems likely that Brian Hoyer would step in if Mac Jones were to get injured.  

Daily Noontime: Monday, March 23rd, 2020

DNMarch23rd2020

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Monday, which means its time for a brand new week. Are you ready?

As usual, we’re here to put a smile on your face and take some time away from news of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is exactly what we will start doing … now!


Today’s Weather in Boston (and the Greater Boston Area): After a nice weekend with some sun and wind, it will be a bit cooler today – look for temperatures hovering between 34 and 38 degrees. It will be overcast for the majority of the day – maybe we’ll see the sun for a few minutes? – but then a wintry mix arrives later this afternoon, which will turn to rain for most of us this evening. 

Luckily, tomorrow will be warmer and include the sun, but there seems to be a lot of rain in the forecast this week, which means we should all just stay indoors (and be safe, of course!).


The Noontime Headlines for Monday, March 23rd, 2020 


In Case You Missed It: 

  • We started our first theme week here at Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) yesterday – we are producing content on Boston and New England sports teams from the past decade. And we began with our All-Decade Boston Bruins team.

On This Date in History 

  • 1948: Kansas topped Baylor in the 10th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to claim the program’s first-ever national title.
  • 1957: North Carolina beat Kansas, 54-53, in triple-overtime in the 19th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Wilt Chamberlain, who played for Kansas, became the fourth player to be named the tournament’s most valuable player despite not being on the championship squad.
  • 1963: Loyola-Chicago beats Cincinnati, 60-58, in overtime in the 25th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, providing the Ramblers with their initial title in their first-ever finals appearance.
  • 1994: Wayne Gretzky sets the NHL record with 802 goals scored.

New England Patriots – Preseason Game Two Observations/Thoughts

Tom Brady, Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker took care of business on Thursday, as the Patriots defeated the Buccaneers, 31-14.

By Matt Noonan 

It’s only the second game of the preseason, but still, there are plenty of things to take away from this particular game, despite the Patriots second victory.

Here are a few overall thoughts on the game, as well as things that will need to be addressed or corrected going forward.

*The first offensive statistic that sticks out right away was New England’s opening drive, which was a total of five plays for 64 yards. Tom Brady connected with tight end Aaron Hernandez to give the Patriots momentum, as well as the lead. The offense continued their success on their second and third drives of the game, as well as watched BenJarvus Green-Ellis convert six points on a one-yard run and Chad Ochocinco record his first touchdown reception in a New England uniform. Although, despite their first quarter success, the offense struggled during the second, third and fourth quarter, but did managed to display positive signs, especially when Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet were under center. Although, I’m sure Mr. Brady wasn’t exactly the happiest person, as he watched both back up quarterbacks struggle to maintain momentum, which he had established. Both Mallet and Hoyer didn’t appear as productive in this game, as they were against the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the quarterbacks combined for 10 completions and one interception.

*As usual, head coach Bill Belichick mentioned during his postgame press conference that there are always things to improve upon, yet, after observing his first string offense, especially in the first quarter, it almost felt as if we were watching highlights of the ’07 squad. Although, don’t ask the head coach about that squad, especially since they didn’t finish the season undefeated.

Once again, Patriots fans watched rookie running back Stevan Ridley take over the ground game.

*Running back Stevan Ridley proved that once again, he deserves a spot on this particular roster. The halfback finished the game with 84 yards on 14 carries, but didn’t manage to record his fourth touchdown of the preseason. However, Ridley has also proven that he’s reliable, gritty and tough football player, especially since he was sidelined earlier this past week with an injury. Yet, it’s likely we’ll be seeing number twenty-two on the sidelines this year.

*The Patriots defense smothered the Buccaneers starting quarterback, Josh Freeman, who finished the game with five completions for 33 yards. Yet, despite keeping Freeman on his toes, the defense also recorded three sacks and one interception. Linebacker Tracy White led New England with five tackles, while Jerod Mayo finished the game with two sacks, three tackles and two assists.

*The Patriots defense constantly provided pressure from all different angles, as well as allowed their front seven to force their way through the Buccaneers offensive line. Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter appeared incredibly uncomfortable in and outside the pocket, as well as out of sync with their second and third string offense, which had to make Belichick somewhat happy, right? Expect this trend to continue the next two weeks, as well as into the regular season too. Belichick indeed has retooled his defensive unit, although, one has to wonder, will they use more blitz packages this season or resort to playing a variety of zone coverage’s? Who knows, but after two completely different exhibition games, it’s quite easy to think that the Patriots will be an aggressive defense this season.

All in all, it was yet again another successful team effort by the Patriots offense, defense and special teams. Of course, fans should expect some changes to occur, but in the meantime, it was yet another solid outing, as well as a positive sign of things to come.

Noonan: NFL Preseason Reactions

New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was rather impressive on Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

By Matt Noonan 

Quick hits – from around the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett admitted that “it was nice to win” on Thursday, as his team rallied to defeat the Denver Broncos, 24-23. However, despite the limited performance of starting quarterback Tony Romo, back up Stephen McGee left fans wondering, if he’s someone the squad can rely on down the road? It’s way too early to answer that particular question, yet, it’s quite possible that one day, McGee could be the starter, but he needs to do more than convert on two-point conversion plays. McGee finished the game with 208 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Broncos head coach John Fox was pleased with quarterback Tim Tebow’s on-field presence, however, I think it’s an obvious that Kyle Orton will retain his starting job. Orton completed two-of-six passes for 37-yards, while Tebow finished the game with 91 yards, but no touchdown. In fact, former Notre Dame star, Brady Quinn ended his evening with one touchdown pass to Eron Riley, but who knows if either player will make the final cut.

The New England Patriots were rather hot on Thursday, as they beat up the Jacksonville Jaguars, 47-12. Tom Brady, Chad Ochocinco and Wes Welker suited up, but instead, watched backup quarterbacks, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet combine for 335 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Yet, despite the successful play of both quarterbacks, running backsStevan Ridley and Richard Medlin combined for four rushing touchdowns.

However, the Patriots did encountered some negative issues, which included fumbling the ball twice, as well as special teams struggles, such as kicking the ball out of bounds and mishandling snaps. Although, I am sure head coach Bill Belichick has told his team that’s unacceptable.

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert struggled in his NFL debut, as he finished the game with nine completions. Gabbert didn’t register a single touchdown or interception too.

OTHER NOTES —

*Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb ended his evening with four completions for 68 yards. However, despite just seven pass attempts, Kolb’s Cardinals did defeat the Oakland Raiders, 24-18

*Philadelphia Eagles running back Ronnie Brown rushed for 22 yards on nine carries, as well as recorded one catch for seven yards. Michael Vick and Vince Young combined for 119 yards and one touchdown strike to tight end Brent Celek.

NFL Draft Talk with Carl Desberg

The 2011 NFL Draft is upon us, which means Noontime Sports is ready for the first round to begin on Thursday. So, with that being said, here is our conversation with Carl Desberg (Boston Sports Then and Now) about the Draft itself, as well as the NFL Lockout and New England Patriots.

Matt Noonan: What would you say is the biggest and most important item the Patriots need to address in the NFL Draft?

Carl Desberg: Offensive line – protect Tom Brady. Matt Light a free agent. If they don’t draft a tackle, it gives him a lot of leverage. Also, on the interior, Logan Mankins is unhappy and Dan Connolly is very solid backup, but has never been asked to do it for more than 16 games, (although he proved durable and versatile last year).

MN: Going into the draft, which Patriots unit could be considered the weakest? Which one is the strongest? Also, how can the weaker unit be improved, if not through the Draft?

CD: The obvious answer is outside linebacker, which is the weakest Patriots unite. I’ll venture to say wide receiver for sake of the argument.

Wes Welker, I believe is entering the last year of his deal, Deion Branch is solid receiver in the Patriots system, but also is entering his last year too. Brandon Tate is inconsistent, although does help spread the field. Second year player Taylor Price looked very good in week 17 last season after being inactive for practically the entire year.

Improved if not through the draft? Chad Ochocinco! Strongest position has to be the quarterback, duh! Brady just signed a lucrative extension and backup Brian Hoyer is a well respected and affordable backup.

MN: Out of all the college players who are entering the draft this year, which will have the most promising career?

CD: I’ll say, Anthony Castonzo from Boston College. He could be a bookend on the line for over a decade for any team. Boston College does an exceptional job with producing great offensive lineman. 

MN: Yes, the Judge lifted the NFL Lockout ban on Monday, but still, so much has to occur before players can actually work out and return to their day-to-day roles with the organization. How much has this current off-season downgraded the NFL as a whole and in your opinion, will there be a season come September? Yes or No? Why?

CD: I don’t think the NFL has been downgraded. If no games are missed (and it sounds like owners and players may be forced to head back to the bargaining tables), then a new CBA will strengthen the league as a whole for years to come. Any new deal will improve the game and league, one would have to think.

MN:How much would not having a NFL season hurt the league, players and fans? Would college football then dominate the football world? Would football fans flock to the NHL or MLB instead?

CD: I don’t think it would affect fans, especially if games were missed. 

MN: Finally, assuming that there is a season, which Patriots game on the schedule will be one of those “can’t miss games?”

CD: Both games against the Jets are can’t miss television, especially after their playoff loss this past season. They are truly the Patriots rival passing the Indianapolis Colts.

Follow Carl Desberg on Twitter (@InBostonSports).