Kendrick Bourne made headlines last Thursday with his honest critique of the Patriots’ struggling offense.
Speaking after New England’s ugly 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium, the wide receiver said the team needed to “scheme up better” to solve their persistent third-down issues — a not-so-subtle shot at play-caller Matt Patricia — while also calling for better execution from the Patriots’ offensive players.
Patriots wide receivers coach Troy Brown was asked Monday about these comments, which could land Bourne in Bill Belichick’s doghouse. He co-signed them.
“We need to do it all better,” the Patriots Hall of Famer said in a video conference. “We need to scheme up better. We need to practice better. We need to play better. We need to do a whole lot of things better. Just not one thing you can throw out there and say we need to do better. We just have to execute better, and that comes in every department in the building right now.
“That’s playing, coaching — whatever it is, quarterbacking, receiving, running back, blocking. Whatever it is, we all have to have some accountability for it and be better at it and just keep plugging along at it.”
Bourne later added that the Patriots “should have been more attacking” during last week’s loss rather than relying so heavily on quick, short passes. This also was a source of frustration for quarterback Mac Jones, who profanely argued on the sideline for New England to throw downfield and ditch its ineffective “quick game.”
The Patriots rank near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every offensive category this season, including 20th in points per game, 24th in yards per game, 28th in first downs per game, 25th in interception rate, 25th in sack rate, 25th in third-down conversion rate and tied for last in red-zone conversion rate. They’re also 24th in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA and 27th in expected points added per play, and they’ve scored multiple offensive touchdowns in just one of their last five games.
“It comes down to better execution,” Brown said. “Whatever you want to call it, we have to do it all a little bit better, a lot better than what we’ve been doing. That being said, we’re still here. We’re not dead. We’re still here, so we have a chance to make this better day by day. That’s the attitude you have to have.”
Belichick, who said he won’t be demoting Patricia ahead of next Monday’s must-win road matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, dismissed Bourne’s explosive remarks during an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”
“We work through the schemes every week depending on who we play and so forth,” the Patriots head coach said Monday. “We run our schemes every week. I’m not really sure about that.”