Patriots Rumors: Matt Patricia, Joe Judge ‘Don’t Know’ How To Help Mac Jones

'There's a feeling that (Matt) Patricia and (Joe) Judge don't know how to get Jones playing better... '


Oct 25, 2022

New England Patriots offensive coaches Joe Judge and Matt Patricia have been tasked with replacing Josh McDaniels and helping second-year quarterback Mac Jones improve, but are the two assistants capable of doing so?

It was a topic of conversation immediately after Bill Belichick named the two as offensive assistants, and the debate has become increasingly popular given Jones’ clear regression in his sophomore campaign. The situation was on display in front of a national audience on “Monday Night Football” this week, too, with Jones being limited to three offensive series with one interception in New England’s 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. Bailey Zappe replaced Jones and played the final three quarters, initially providing a spark before throwing a pair of second-half interceptions.

Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard wrote after the loss how others around the league have questioned whether the Patriots coaching staff is capable of helping Jones.

“There’s a feeling that Patricia and Judge don’t know how to get Jones playing better because they’ve never been tasked with that, that they’d rather go with Zappe because he does exactly as ordered and is a clean slate,” Bedard wrote in a story published Tuesday morning.

The longtime Patriots writer then quoted a source, who added: “The priority should have been getting Jones back to playing well, but they don’t know how to do that.”

Bedard also made reference to speculation about how the two coaches might be “stacking” the deck in hopes of Zappe replacing Jones. He wrote how the two coaches prefer Zappe given how he’s in his first year and is more of a “clean slate.”

Belichick told reporters after the loss that pulling Jones after three series was part of the team’s plan entering the game, not because the second-year QB threw an interception on his final offensive snap. Zappe ignited the Patriots offense to the tune of two consecutive scoring drives, but ultimately the offensive game plan and execution halted “Zappe Hour” in the second half.

Belichick has allowed for the quarterback controversy to pick up given his reluctance to name a starter. He deflected when asked immediately after Monday’s game and then cited “hypothetical” questions when asked Tuesday morning if Jones would be the starting quarterback when he’s fully healthy.

But if the Patriots’ coaching staff is unable to help either Jones or Zappe improve, the team will continue to struggle regardless of who is behind center.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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