Rookie New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett has been inactive for each of the Patriots’ 10 games, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick indicated the third-round pick from Arkansas is making progress.
He is "absolutely’" still doing extra work after practice, Belichick said. During training camp, Mallett often spent time working on his footwork, either tethered to bungee cords or using a rope ladder, following instruction from strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash.
Belichick recalled his first year with the Giants, which was also quarterback Phil Simms’s rookie year, and the respect he gained for Simms, particularly his accuracy, while Simms ran the scout team against the Giants’ defense.
Belichick was quick to clarify that he wasn’t comparing Mallett to Simms, but he did note that Mallett has "made some impressive throws in practice."
Mallett was one of the most talked-about prospects in this year’s draft. Many believed he had first-round talent coming out of Arkansas, but there were character concerns that caused him to slide. He has had no such issues with the Patriots.
As long as Tom Brady is around, Mallett won't have a role in New England, but if you are in a keeper league with a large roster, Mallett is worth keeping around. He could start for another team down the road much like Matt Cassel.