A lot went wrong for the Patriots defense late last season. After emerging as a dominant unit during New England’s seven-game win streak, the veteran-heavy group limped to the finish line before getting completely dominated in a playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.
So, what happened? There is no one-size-fits-all explanation, of course, but one prominent theory suggests the Patriots’ lack of a true defensive coordinator — Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick seemingly shared the duties in 2021 — created issues inside the locker room. After the season ended, multiple reports indicated there were too many voices on the defensive side of the ball.
“We’re all about the present right now, we’re all about this year,” the Patriots inside linebackers coach said during a virtual news conference. “It’s early in the season and we’re all on the same page. And we have a great working relationship — all of us on this coaching staff.
“I didn’t even hear (the rumors). But it’s all about now.”
At this juncture, it looks like Mayo and Belichick (outside linebackers coach) will remain in the roles they’ve had in recent seasons, meaning the Patriots still won’t have an official defensive coordinator. That said, neither coach — nor any Patriots assistant, for that matter — revealed much while speaking with reporters Monday.
New England wrapped up its rookie minicamp over the weekend and now looks toward next Monday when voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) officially begin.