Belichick on No. 2 QB: 'It's tight'

August, 30, 2012
8/30/12
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The 2012 preseason was one in which the coaching staff gathered more data in their evaluation of second-year quarterback Ryan Mallett, who played the highest total of snaps among signal-callers.

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After Wednesday's preseason finale, coach Bill Belichick was asked about the competition for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart -- between Mallett and Brian Hoyer -- and he said:

"It's been competitive. Those guys have pretty much gotten equal opportunities all the way through, from the spring, into the practices and preseason and preseason games -- outside of the Tampa game, where we played one quarterback after Tom [Brady] in that game. Otherwise, it's been about as equal as we could have it. It's very competitive. It's tight. We'll try to make the best decision we can for the team on that."

Here is the breakdown of the quarterback snaps this preseason:

Brady (69)
Saints: 19
Eagles: 0
Buccaneers: 50
Giants: 0

Mallett (123)
Saints: 24
Eagles: 38
Buccaneers: 22
Giants: 39

Hoyer (87)
Saints: 29
Eagles: 36
Buccaneers: 0
Giants: 22

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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