New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett will have a lot to prove this preseason. Not only is Mallett in the final year of his contract, the team has selected rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of this year’s NFL draft. Both circumstances have inspired Mallett to have one of the best training camps of his NFL career. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick has noticed his improvement and on Tuesday said Mallett will be rewarded for his hard work.
Belichick told reporters before Tuesday’s joint practice with the Washington Redskins that Mallett will have plenty of opportunity to show off his improvement during the team’s four preseason games. Belichick said, “I think Ryan has been solid for us all year. He’s come back and done everything very well. Like everybody out there every player, some plays are better than others.”
Mallett has continued to maintain his focus despite trade rumors and despite the team bringing in Garoppolo. The fourth-year quarterback is out to prove that the backup quarterback position is still his to lose. Everything that he has learned from Tom Brady over the years seems to finally be paying off.
Belichick continued, “Ryan has good poise in the huddle, good presence on the field, handles the team will and absolutely knows the offense from A to Z and can make the adjustments and whatever changes, communications, checks, we need to make. He’s shown good ability to do that, he has a lot of physical talent. He’ll get an opportunity to – he really hasn’t had an opportunity to play in a regular-season game in three years, so he’ll get a lot of playing time this year in preseason and hopefully continue to improve.”
The team could also be showcasing Mallett to a team that may be in need of a starting NFL quarterback. Another person who has noticed Mallet’s improved play is NFL analyst Mike Mayock, who was highly impressed by the arm of Mallett. He said, “I was blown away today. I saw a legitimate NFL starting quarterback today backing up Tom Brady.” Mayock feels the 74th overall pick in the 2011 draft “popped” against the Redskins in practice. If anything, Ryan Mallett has seemingly increased his value as an NFL quarterback. He still, however, has to prove it on the field when the games count.