The New England Patriots offense was a big talking point this season, and how could it not be between Matt Patricia — a defensive-minded coach — calling offensive plays, Mac Jones’ regression and side sideline outbursts after failed plays.
But now we’re getting an inside look at just how dysfunctional it all was.
In a piece published by the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan and Karen Guregian on Thursday morning, they peeled back the curtain on the mess that was the offense.
“It was disheveled,” an anonymous source involved with the organization told the Herald. “They were always scrambling to get things done.”
But just how disheveled was it?
Well, one source revealed to the Herald that Patricia and Joe Judge didn’t have a plan quite like Josh McDaniels did while he was the offensive coordinator with the Patriots. McDaniels was prepared and knew what he wanted from his offense. He even had “pages worth of fresh run plays, another 25 of passing plays and upwards of 40 pages for the offensive line learning protection schemes.”
Patricia did things differently, though. So different that it had players worried.
“A lot of guys were getting worried because when we were in the middle of camp, we were wondering what the plan was for our offense,” one source told the Herald. “Because we hadn’t put enough install in. We had a couple protections, a couple core run plays, but our pass game didn’t have much in it.”
The ill-prepared pass game was evident as each week passed in the Patriots season. Jones’ worst performance came in the shocking loss to McDaniels’ Las Vegas Raiders when the quarterback completed just 41.9% of his passes and averaged 3.6 yards-per-attempt while becoming the first QB to throw at least 30 passes and average fewer than four yards.
It wasn’t just Jones, though. The entire offense at times looked lost and like they weren’t prepared for what the opponents were going to do.
“A lot of guys would ask, ‘Well, what’s going to happen if (the defense) does this?’ And you would see they hadn’t really accounted for that yet,” a source told the Herald. “And they’d say, ‘We’ll get to that when we get to that.’ That type of attitude got us in trouble.”
Another source added: “By the end, they were just making 1,000 adjustments instead of building them in at the beginning.”
Jones was impacted the most, but time and time again he, and many other Patriots players, supported Patricia, Judge and the coaches. Jones was adamant what we saw in the preseason wasn’t awkward, and that communication between everyone was good and he “really liked” New England’s coaching staff.
It was pretty obvious there was a disconnect early on and it never got better as the season continued. It seemed everyone already speculated what the sources told the Herald and now that it’s out there, it’s clear some changes needed to happen.