The Patriots offense was in disarray in 2022, and Andrew Callahan and Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald provided us with a peek behind the dysfunctional curtain. According to the report, the Patriots’ season was filled with tension on the offensive side of the ball, particularly between Mac Jones and coach Joe Judge.
The issues started in the spring, when Jones irked Patriots brass by indicating that he would be teaching the offense to his new quarterbacks coach. While the players and coaches would ultimately work together “in good faith,” the team was unable to overcome the shortcomings of Judge and de facto offensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The duo tried a simplified approach to Sean McVay’s offense in Los Angeles, but this resulted in an incomplete and underwhelming catalogue of plays.
“A lot of guys were getting worried because when we were in the middle of camp, we were wondering what the plan was for our offense. Because we hadn’t put enough install in,” a source told the Boston Herald. “We had a couple protections, a couple core run plays, but our pass game didn’t have much in it.”
While Patricia seemed to garner most of the criticism, the Boston Herald points a finger at Judge. Bill Belichick would later phase Judge out of the offense, but not before frustrations boiled over. Per the report, both Jones and Belichick got into shouting matches with the former special teams coordinator, and there were even occasions where positional coaches would have to correct Judge’s mistakes.
Ultimately, the relationships that underpinned “the offense became so strained, they engendered internal doubt” about Belichick’s decision making. The head coach was quick to make changes following the season; shortly after announcing that they’d be conducting an offensive coordinator search, the Patriots hired Bill O’Brien to fill the role. Still, both Judge and Patricia are expected to be back in 2023.
More notes out of New England…
- Speaking of, Belichick had a much larger role on offense than he let on, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. The head coach was “active on the headsets” during games, providing the same “oversight over the offense that he’d traditionally had over the defense.” Belichick even had a stint “moonlighting” as the offensive play-caller, which resulted in the offense occasionally looking “messy from an operational standpoint.”
- For what it’s worth, Patricia’s contract has expired, according to Breer. This provides the coach with an open opportunity to pursue a different role elsewhere, something he may consider since he’s already facing a reduced role in New England. Tight ends coach Nick Caley also has an expiring contract, but Breer says the coach still has a chance to return to New England. Caley has received several OC interviews, including an interview for the Patriots job.
- Top receiver Jakobi Meyers played through a small tear in his knee this past year, per Callahan and Guregian. Despite the inconsistent Patriots offense, Meyers continued to produce in 2022, topping 800 receiving yards for the second-straight season while also establishing a new career-high in touchdown receptions (six). The former undrafted free agent is set to hit free agency this offseason and should be in line for a significant pay day as one of the top available players at his position.
- O’Brien is already starting to add to his new offensive staff. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter), the Patriots are adding Will Lawing to their offensive staff. The 37-year-old coach has worked alongside O’Brien at multiple stops, including Penn State, Alabama, and the Texans. Lawing held multiple roles during his time in the NFL, including tight ends coach. He spent the past two seasons as an offensive analyst at Alabama.
6 comments on “Patriots Notes: Coaching, Meyers, Lawing”
Joe Judge is one of the biggest clown shows in the NFL. Mac Jones seems like he’s petulant and ego-driven, but I don’t blame him for not wanting to take instruction from old Double Kneeldown Joe Judge. Judge is clueless.
Judge and Patricia trying to run an NFL offense together could be a comedy film. For all of Belichick’s strengths, his refusal to make fresh hires is really a glaring weakness post Brady.
Instead of seeking out the next great OC, who will become an in demand HC candidate, he turns to his incompetent buddies, and now an average retread friend in BoB.
BOB definitely isn’t a good head coach, and for sure shouldn’t be making personnel decisions, but as an OC, I would take a chance with him in that position.
“For what it’s worth, Patricia’s contract has expired, according to Breer. This provides the coach with an open opportunity to pursue a different role elsewhere”.
There are plenty of street corners where he could sell pencils.
He could fill up any large street corner
You insult fat ppl everywhere by comparing them to him.