When Josh McDaniels left the New England Patriots for the Las Vegas Raiders, he brought many of Bill Belichick’s top assistants with him to Nevada. As the Patriots search to fill various roles on the offensive coaching staff, it might all end with Belichick and Matt Patricia taking on larger roles.
New England knew this day was coming, especially since McDaniels was a coveted coaching candidate every offseason. With the Patriots’ offensive coordinator out the door, Bill O’Brien and Adam Gase have emerged as potential candidates to fill the void.
While the search for an offensive coordinator is ongoing, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus reports that a reshuffling of the Patriots’ coaching staff could lead to Belichick and Patricia taking on larger roles with the offense.
Both veteran coaches do have some experience on that side of the ball. Belichick served as the Detroit Lions wide receivers coach in 1977, but the majority of his NFL career dating back to 1975 resides on the defensive side.
As for Patricia, his resume is similar. The 47-year-old worked as an offensive graduate assistant at Syracuse (2001-’03) and later served as an offensive assistant on Belichick’s staff in New England (2004-’05). However, he found a home on the defensive side and it’s what landed him a job as the Lions’ head coach (2018-’20).
Looking back at the stats from the Lions’ offense during Patricia’s tenure leaves a lot to be desired. In terms of scoring, Detroit ranked 25th (20.3 ppg) in 2018, 18th in 2019 (21.3 ppg) and 20th in 2020 (23.6 ppg). During that same stretch, the Lions ranked 25th (36.06%), 14th (40.91%) and 15th (41.15%) in third-down conversion rate each season.
After McDaniels took four offensive assistants with him to Las Vegas, Belichick has a lot of work to do this offseason to rebuild his coaching staff. If Patricia lands a prominent role coaching on the offensive side, there will be plenty of skepticism surrounding the New England Patriots offense in 2022.