There’s really no subtle way of saying this. The second half of the New England Patriots’ 2022 season was an absolute dumpster fire. New England lost five of its final seven games to miss out on the postseason once again.
From co-playcallers Matt Patricia and Joe Judge stinking up the joint to issues surrounding Mac Jones and some terrible in-game coaching from Bill Belichick, this iteration of the Patriots looked unfamiliar.
Now that the Pats aren’t playing postseason football for the second time in three years since Tom Brady’s departure, there’s renewed questions about the direction of this organization.
Per Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Belichick had a face-to-face meeting with Patriots owner Robert Kraft shortly after their season-ending loss to the Buffalo Bills. Said meeting did include a belief by both parties changes are in order.
“The Patriots are on to 2023 with Belichick acknowledging 2022 wasn’t ideal and being amenable to changes,” report on New England Patriots offseason plans. “My understanding is offensive coaching reassignments are going to happen and several offensive coaches are under consideration for the Patriots’ 2023 staff.”
Belichick noted ahead of the 2022 season that any issues on offense would be on him. His decision to refrain from hiring a true offensive coordinator to replace Josh McDaniels was questionable. When it was learned that Patricia and Judge would be calling plays, that was magnified further. Neither longtime assistant had experience in that regard ahead of 2022.
As for Patricia, he made his name as a defensive mind in New England before an unsuccessful tenure as the Detroit Lions’ head coach from 2018-20. As a result, the Pats’ offense struggled big time.
- Scoring: 17th
- Red zone: 32nd
- Passing: 20th
- Rushing: 24th
- Total yards: 26th
Changes we can expect for the New England Patriots
First off, Belichick will be hiring an experienced offensive coordinator and playcaller. That much is by now well known. It could lead to both Judge and Patricia being re-assigned to more familiar roles. They can be valuable on a coaching staff as we’ve seen throughout their careers.
As for names being bandied about for the offensive coordinator position, recently-fired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has come up on the rumor mill. He has experience calling plays dating back to the coach’s tenure as the Houston Cougars offensive coordinator from 2008-2011.
Former Pats assistant Bill O’Brien is also a possibility. He served as New England’s offensive coordinator in 2011 before making the transition to Penn State and ultimately being the Houston Texans head coach from 2014-20. Since then, O’Brien has worked as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator for Alabama. Saban and Belichick have a great relationship. You can do the math from there.
The one interesting backdrop is Mac Jones’ future as the Patriots’ starting quarterback. Belichick wouldn’t commit to him following a disastrous sophomore campaign from the former first-round pick.
“Mac has the ability to play quarterback in this league. We all have to work together to find the best way as a football team, obviously quarterback is a big position, to be more productive,” Belichick said after the New England Patriots Week 18 loss.
After putting up a Pro Bowl performance as a rookie in 2021, Jones looked nothing like starter material this past season. He threw a mere 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions and found himself at odds with the Patriots’ coaching staff on a consistent basis.
We’re sure any discussions Belichick has with a new potential offensive coordinator will also include Jones as a central topic. Either way we spin it, this is going to be an important offseason for the New England Patriots. Both Belichick and Kraft know that.