The Patriots time and time again make the necessary adjustments in order to take the next step. This starts with tackling their issues and shortcomings head-on.
New England certainly will have to look itself in the mirror this week after taking a beating in Baltimore this past Sunday night. The previously undefeated Patriots had a few of their weaknesses exposed at a greater scale under the bright lights of M&T Bank Stadium, and they’ll need to be corrected ahead of a tough four-game stretch which kicks off in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Chris Long, who spent the 2016 season with the Patriots, is all too familiar with this process. That team dealt with a handful of issues during the early and middle stages of the season before really turning it on ahead of the playoffs and ultimately claimed football’s most coveted hardware. As such, Long knows exactly how Bill Belichick and Co. will address the Patriots’ loss to the Ravens.
“It’s just straight up,” Long said on The Ringer’s “The Ryen Rusillo Podcast,” as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “That’s what you miss a lot in pro football. You want your head coach to get up there and call it how it is and do it in front of the entire team. No favorites. Don’t sugarcoat it. And that’s what’s done. In a room full of everybody that’s relevant in that building from a football standpoint. Your mistakes are up there on the big screen for everybody to see and they’re addressed head-on. That can be ugly, but it needs to happen.
“Too many coaches … split the team up. Offensive coordinator handles the offense. Defensive coordinator handles the defense. You would think, you assume, that everybody’s watching you every snap anyways. But to have that point hammered home, it really helps. That room is big and dark. There’s no windows in the building. Lotta coffee. Lotta guys with, like, big cups of coffee. Lotta guys shuffling in, no talking. Then there’s, like, the awkward quiet moment when you’re like, ‘OK, when’s Bill coming in,’ when the small talk stops. Then Bill comes in. And it can go for an hour.”
Judging by Long’s anecdote, it’s clear accountability and focus is not lacked inside the wall of Gillette Stadium.