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Here is Bill Parcells’s philosophy on players losing jobs to injuries, and other thoughts

Bill Parcells (above) once won a Super Bowl with the Giants using a backup quarterback (Jeff Hostetler).ERIC RISBERG

Picked-up pieces while wondering how my invitation to Bob Kraft’s wedding got misplaced …

▪ As we wait to see whom Bill Belichick starts at quarterback Monday (going into the weekend, the best guess was that Mac Jones is coming back), know that Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells doesn’t subscribe to the notion that an NFL player should never lose his job while he is injured. The Tuna believes professional sports is a results business.

“I’m not speaking for Bill [Belichick],” Parcells said via phone this week. “This is just me. Players will say, ‘You don’t lose your job to injury.’ That’s right. You lose your job for two reasons: 1. You’re not playing well, or 2. Someone else is playing better.


“I would tell my team that. If you’re out of the game and someone else goes in and obviously plays better, then you lose your job. That was my approach.”

Based on a small sample, Bailey Zappe has thus far played better than Jones. In Jones’s three starts, the Patriots were 1-2. In Zappe’s two starts, they were 2-0.

Here are the numbers:

Quarterback C-A-TD-INT comp % yards yds./att. rating
Jones 64-97-2-5 66 786 8.1 76.2
Zappe 51-70-4-1 73 596 8.5 111.4

Parcells was impressed with Zappe’s performance in Cleveland. Noting that Zappe has minimized turnovers, the Tuna added, “That’s the No. 1 statistic in football — turnovers. And the reason is that this is a field-position game, and when you turn the ball over, you don’t get to punt. So you lose 40-something yards in field position.”

In 1990, Parcells’s starting quarterback with the Giants, Phil Simms, broke a bone in his foot in Week 15, was replaced by Jeff Hostetler, and didn’t get back on the field for the rest of the season as Hostetler led New York all the way to the Super Bowl. Hostetler completed 20 of 32 passes to beat the Bills, 20-19, in Super Bowl XXV.


What if Simms had been ready to play?

“When a guy misses some time, you have to evaluate, ‘Is he the same as when he left?’ ” answered Parcells.

Jones has made progress with his high ankle sprain and may be able to play Monday, but the fan in me wants Belichick to go with Zappe at least until the rookie loses. Think of what it will be like around here if Jones returns and the Patriots lose. That might make things harder for Jones in the long run.

Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (left) and Mac Jones (right) at practice Thursday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Like most Patriots fans, Parcells trusts Belichick to make the correct call.

“That guy you’ve got coaching the Patriots is pretty smart,” said the Tuna. “He really is. He thinks things over. He doesn’t make rash decisions.

“He thinks it out and does what he thinks is best for this week’s game. He’s not thinking long term right now. He’s thinking this week. And I don’t blame him. He’s got a chance to get back in the race.”

▪ Quiz: Name the last three pitchers to win three games in a single World Series (answer below).

▪ Headline in Thursday’s New York Times: “A Vow to Spend ‘Stupid’ Money Is Paying Off for the Phillies.” Tyler Kepner led his analysis with, “This is what the stupid money was all about: the opening game of the National League Championship Series, with a half a billion dollars’ worth of Phillies superstars lifting the team to victory.”


In spring training 2022, Phillies owner John Middleton told Kepner, “The desire to do something special, to do something great, is a passion. It’s not grounded in business logic, it’s not grounded in baseball analytics. I think it’s your passion as a fan that kind of fuels your ambition. It certainly fuels my ambition for this team.”

Wow. Remember when the Red Sox owners had that attitude?

▪ One thing I’m enjoying about postseason baseball telecasts is the occasional replay at the end of an inning if there’s a spectacular or controversial play leading into the break. Greedy NESN always goes straight to commercial — sometimes before Dave O’Brien has a chance to say, “Out number three” — then frequently misses the first pitch of the next inning to squeeze in another Charlie Moore promo.

▪ Are we prepared to live in a world in which the Buffalo Bills are Super Bowl champs?

▪ Belichick made a big deal about some of the names on the Cleveland Browns ring of honor at FirstEnergy Stadium. A casual fan might wonder why the number 10636 is honored along with Jim Brown, Paul Brown, Otto Graham, and Co. Answer: It’s an homage to 10,636 consecutive snaps played by Browns left tackle Joe Thomas between 2007-17.

▪ After punching out teammate Jordan Poole, combustible Warrior Draymond Green went on TNT’s “The Countdown” in an effort to restore his image. It was weak and self-serving. This is leadership?

▪ Did you know that Deshaun Watson’s first game back for the Browns will be at Houston Dec. 4? A cynic might wonder if this is how the NFL came up with an 11-game punishment for him.


▪ Speaking of Houston, Texas media legend John McClain tweeted, “Firing Easterby is one of the best decisions in the history of Houston sports,” when former Patriots chaplain and character coach Jack Easterby was fired by the Texans this week.

▪ If he stays healthy, LeBron James will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s top all-time scorer early in 2023. Kareem is sitting on 38,387 points. LeBron started the season at 37,062. Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan are 3-4-5.

▪ New Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson remembers being a little kid and rebounding for Derrick Rose when Rose was MVP of the Bulls and Brunson’s dad, Rick, was an assistant coach for Tom Thibodeau. They’re all together again with the Knicks this year.

▪ How long does Steve Nash last with Brooklyn? The Nets were thrashed, 130-108, by the Pelicans in their opener. Kyrie shot 6 for 19 and scored only 4 points in the first half.

▪ It was fun in the moment, but Cleveland DH Josh Naylor looks somewhat idiotic for his baby-rocking gestures after homering off Gerrit Cole in Game 4 of the Guardians-Yankees ALDS. The Guardians were quiet for the rest of the series.

Two days after Naylor’s demonstration, the estimable Terry Francona blundered, opting for Aaron Civale (Northeastern, Connecticut-born and -raised) in the winner-take-all Game 5. Civale retired only one batter and gave up the three-run blast to Giancarlo Stanton. Civale is Cleveland’s Denny Galehouse.


▪ UMass football madness: A reader insists that in 11 years of playing in the FBS division of college football, the Minutemen have won only one game against an FBS team with a winning record — Appalachian State in 2017. Can this be possible?

Think about this for a second: UMass lost to Buffalo last weekend. Holy Cross, an FCS school that plays Merrimack and Bryant, beat Buffalo earlier this season.

Can’t wait for UMass at Texas A&M Nov. 19. What are we doing, people?

▪ Why I love the New York Post: Six of seven baseball writers picked the Astros to beat the Yankees in the ALCS. Love the old-timey, hard-edged cynicism of the Post staff. Fanboys not allowed.

▪ Any of you notice Bill Walton sitting behind the backstop in San Diego when the Padres played the Phillies Tuesday night? Felt bad for the poor person sitting behind the redheaded giant.

▪ The Warriors and Lakers chucked up 85 3-pointers in their opener Tuesday.

▪ Two new books for your sports shelf: Tony Massarotti’s “This is Our City” takes you through New England’s 12 championship seasons in this century. Jeff Pearlman’s “The Last Folk Hero — The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson” celebrates the extraordinary athletic life of a two-sport legend. Four out of four stars for both books.

▪ Firewagon Hockey on Causeway Street. Love it.

▪ Quiz answer: Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2001 (against the Yankees), Detroit’s Mickey Lolich in 1968 (against the Cardinals), and St. Louis’s Bob Gibson in 1967 (against the Red Sox).

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.