Are the Patriots 'playing possum' with offensive approach? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
With Josh McDaniels no longer in the fold, the New England Patriots have taken an unorthodox approach with their offense heading into the 2022 NFL season.
Rather than let Mac Jones audible out of plays at the line of scrimmage, Bill Belichick and Co. have directed the offense to run the plays as called regardless of the defensive look. As a result, the offense has struggled throughout training camp and the preseason.
Former NFL offensive guard Pete Kendall believes while it may not be a popular strategy, there's a method to the Patriots' madness. On a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast with Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry, he explained why New England may be "playing possum" by sticking with the plays as called.
"I still think there is some benefit for the Pats not showing what solutions they're going to use to these unfavorable looks," Kendall said. "It makes sense to me one that they wouldn't show them and two that there might be some frustration. Because hey, look, the game's on tape, you're a competitor, you're a professional player. You don't want to look bad in any circumstance. ... You just have to hope that it's understood by the evaluators, by your position coach, by your coordinator, by your head coach, by your personnel department. ...
"So I understand both sides of this clearly, why the Pats see benefit in holding back some of their stuff in the preseason, and why maybe some guys might be a little but frustrated that, hey, I'm out here playing, let's have some success."
Also discussed in the episode: Kendall breaks down the play that flummoxed him this preseason. How hard will it be for Matt Patricia to be OC/play-caller and OL coach? Is there too much on the plate of Cole Strange? And biggest concerns for Mac Jones heading into the regular season.