Patriots ‘Doubling Down’ On Culture? Colin Cowherd Voices Concerns

One of New England's biggest supporters might be jumping off the bandwagon

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Even Colin Cowherd appears to be jumping off the New England Patriots’ bandwagon.

The FS1 talking head earlier this week voiced concerns about New England, pointing out the Patriots simply aren’t built for the modern NFL.

“One of the things I always loved about the New England Patriots: They were ahead of the league on stuff,” Cowherd said on FS1. ” … Now, I feel like they’ve fallen in love with themselves and their culture, and I don’t understand what they’re doing.”

Cowherd, a longtime Pats supporter, isn’t completely out on New England. But he’s sure leaning that way, especially with head coach Bill Belichick refusing to name a new offensive coordinator in wake of Josh McDaniels’ departure.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is coming off an impressive rookie season and entering an important year in his development. Yet Belichick is playing with fire in how he’s handling the coaching staff. Not great from an optics standpoint. It’s fair to ask: What exactly are the Patriots doing?

“The Patriots are somewhere in the middle — like, I don’t get it, but I kind of do and I don’t want any part of it,” Cowherd said. “Which is: They don’t have an offensive coordinator. They have, probably next to Green Bay, the weakest wide receiving corps in the league, as the league pivots and transitions to a more weapons-based league because of rules (and) regulations on what you can do defensively.

“Like, I get what they’re doing — doubling down on their culture — but when your quarterback, Mac Jones, doesn’t have the ability athletically — and this is indisputable — to make plays off-script, and you also have among the weakest playmakers off-script, how do you win? You become a 1979 NFL team. You have to score on long, ball-controlling drives. Kansas City can do that. And so can Buffalo and the Chargers and the Rams and the Packers, but they can also score quickly.

“New England has very little chance to go over the top, make plays with their feet, a super-fast wide receiver beats coverage. They can score one way, they’re not going to win shootouts regularly, they already can’t get Josh Allen off the field. The last time they played, he didn’t punt in his 10 possessions — eight, 10, 11, whatever it was. So, like, I don’t get it. I don’t get not re-signing J.C. Jackson. I don’t get not having an offensive coordinator. It’s the OTAs. He’s young. No OC? They’re going to struggle to play from behind.”

The Patriots went 10-7 in 2021, an improvement upon the 7-9 mark they posted in 2020, New England’s first season following Tom Brady’s exit. All things considered, it was a step in the right direction. Only Buffalo torched New England in the wild-card round, and there’s little reason to believe the Patriots are better equipped to recapture the AFC East in 2022.

“The draft was weird. They’re not fast enough. They let go of their elite corner. It feels like they’re doubling down on culture,” Cowherd said. “That’s the Spurs, right? They’re not viable anymore. You’ve got to have stars. You’ve got to have easy buckets. You’ve got to have easy touchdowns. You don’t want to have to out-brilliant people every week.”

Are the Patriots in trouble? Sure feels that way, even to some of the franchise’s biggest supporters.

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