Matt Patricia has taken a lot of flak in the early portion of his first season calling offensive plays for the New England Patriots, but the early returns haven’t all been negative.
After making his return to New England in a special advisory role in 2021, Patricia has returned to the sidelines this season as the Patriots offensive line coach and offensive play caller. The opinion on Patricia around New England has been a mixed bag, with former players giving opinions on a coach who has been widely regarded as a defensive mind throughout his NFL career. Early struggles haven’t done much to improve the image of Patricia, but he does seem to have a supporter back in his old stomping grounds.
“It’s better and better and better. They’re attacking their opponents, they’re putting together good game plans, they’re using their roster well,” Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday, per Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald. “He’s doing a good job. He really is.”
While the Patriots offense hasn’t exactly been dominant, they have shown steady improvement through four weeks. New England improved its offensive scoring total each of the first three weeks of the season, before seeing a small regression in Week 4 as it was forced to turn to rookie fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe at quarterback. The Patriots rank 18th in total offense but will enter Week 5 with the NFL’s 10th best rushing attack.
The Patriots and Lions will match up in Week 5, with Detroit entering the fray with the NFL’s top-scoring offense. Whether Campbell’s nice comments were fluff or not may never be known, but Patricia will have the opportunity to prove his successor right when his offense takes the field against Detroit, presumably with Zappe under center.