Matt Patricia explains the Patriots’ unique coaching structure for 2022

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The New England Patriots don’t have an offensive coordinator and Bill Belichick does not seem interested in appointing one this season. And so things are a little weird in New England.

Belichick doesn’t abide by normality but, even by his standards, the layout is a little strange for the offensive coaching staff. Gone are the days when Josh McDaniels, the team’s former offensive coordinator who took the Raiders head coaching vacancy, would follow his quarterbacks around the field and coordinate just about every team drill, from 7-on-7s to 11-on-11s.

No, now the Patriots rotate. Offensive line coach Matt Patricia seems to run the 11-on-11 drills — for the most part. Quarterbacks coach Joe Judge seems to take charge for most of the 7-on-7 drills. And Belichick will jump in to take over on occasion in both sets of drills. That’s an oddity in itself. But consider, also, that Patricia spends position drills with the offensive line. That means he spends a large portion of practice on a totally different practice field than quarterback Mac Jones. Then Patricia calls plays for 11-on-11s.

It sounds like the rotation on the field is similar to the rotation that’s taking place in meetings, too. Jones has explained he’s listening to Belichick, Patricia and Judge in the meeting room (rather than just McDaniels in 2021). Jones said that meetings are “an open conversation.”

Patricia shared some information on how that rotation is going.

“As an offensive staff, we really try to split the meetings and everyone tries to input in different areas, so that it’s not always the same person up there all the time giving all the information,” he said Monday after the team’s first padded practice and fifth session overall in camp. “I think everyone has little areas of expertise and part of it — as a coach and developing coaches — you want them to grow, too. You want them to get up in front of the room and present an area — maybe run game, the pass protection, the routes. We really just look at it as a shared responsibility right now.”

Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Or too many coaches in the huddle?

“I think we have an established culture here where we understand there’s input that comes from across the board,” Patricia said. “Certainly where it’s a hard decision that needs to be made, our head coach (Belichick) here is involved in all aspects of the game and has an expertise above anybody else — to be honest with you — in all those areas.”

Jones is the player most directly impacted by McDaniels’ departure. He had a strong support system in 2021 with a great defense, but this season, he and the offense may have to carry the team in a bigger way after the departure of cornerback J.C. Jackson and a handful of veteran linebackers including Dont’a Hightower.

If Jones proves to be most important player for the Patriots in 2022 — and it’s likely he will be — this unique coaching structure could play a large role in dictating the outcome of the team’s season.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire