Patriots owner Robert Kraft wasn’t playing the blame game Monday when discussing the failures of New England’s offense during the 2022 season.
Much of the criticism of the offense’s ineptitude fell on the shoulders of Matt Patricia, who after spending the majority of his NFL coaching career on defense made the major switch to calling offensive plays and coaching the offensive line for the Patriots last season.
New England’s attack cratered with Patricia at the wheel, but Kraft appeared to have sympathy for the longtime Patriots assistant at the 2023 NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix.
“I think he got put in a difficult position; it was sort of an experiment,” Kraft told reporters, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “He worked very hard at it. In retrospect, I don’t think it was the right thing. I feel bad for him because he is such a hard worker and he got put in a difficult position.”
Patricia’s role with the organization moving forward still is unclear, as he reportedly had interviews for defensive jobs with the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t give any insight Monday morning into if Patricia would remain with New England for the upcoming campaign.
If the Patriots do retain Patricia, it seems highly unlikely he would remain coaching on the offensive side of the ball with New England hiring Bill O’Brien as the team’s offensive coordinator.
While Kraft gave Patricia a free pass for the offensive struggles, he also backed quarterback Mac Jones and believes the coaching change should benefit the signal-caller.