New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick replaced offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge before the 2022 season. As a disappointing season nears its conclusion for New England, both top assistants are ex[ected to return in 2023.
McDaniels took many of Belichick’s top offensive assistants with him when he left for the Las Vegas Raiders. With multiple vacancies to fill, New England hired Judge as its offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach.
The loss of McDaniels’ play-calling and game-planning left an even bigger hole in the Patriots’ coaching staff. So, Belichick moved Patricia from senior football advisor to offensive line coach and the team’s primary play-caller for the offense.
Belichick’s decisions faced immediate criticism. Players privately expressed concern regarding the direction early in the summer. When reporters watched training camp, many came away with more criticism including multiple alarming reports about the scheme and offensive line.
Things never improved during the regular season. While New England remained in playoff contention thanks to one of the best NFL defenses in 2022, its offense is in the bottom half of the league and facing criticism from players, fans and evaluators around the NFL.
- New England Patriots offense stats (2022): 1.7 offensive touchdowns per game (27th), 317.2 total yards per game (24th), 34.92% third-down conversion rate (26th)
While Belichick and owner Robert Kraft will evaluate everything during the offseason, it’s already becoming clear that neither Judge nor Patricia is in jeopardy of being forced out of New England.
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Jeremy Fowler of ESPN believes that both Patricia and Judge will likely remain on the Patriots’ coaching staff in 2023. Despite their inexperience working on offense, Belichick reportedly places his belief in them because he trusts them as coaches and trust is the most important thing to him regarding his coaching staff.
Multiple reports have suggested there is still a possibility that Kraft will step in if he feels the necessary changes aren’t made. The Patriots’ owner expressed frustration before the season regarding the lack of recent playoff success.
With that trend only worsening and the offense progressively declining, Belichick’s full control over football operations could be challenged in 2023.