FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Fast-hit ideas and notes across the New England Patriots and NFL:
1. Patricia’s match: The primary domino in Invoice Belichick’s plans to form his offensive teaching workers after coordinator Josh McDaniels’ departure fell final week with the hiring of Joe Judge.
May a second domino embody senior soccer adviser Matt Patricia?
Few, if any, really know what Belichick is pondering. However the potential of Patricia becoming a member of the offensive workers in some capability has come up in conversations with good NFL personnel projecting Belichick’s subsequent transfer, and the pondering goes like this:
With the Patriots set to retain the core of their present defensive workers, however dropping elite institutional brainpower/information on offense with out McDaniels and others, Belichick would possibly view some mixture of Patricia and Decide as his greatest choice to spearhead the offensive transition.
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The general public notion of Patricia and Decide won’t be excessive after their stints as head coaches with the Lions and Giants, respectively, however Belichick’s respect for his or her teaching acumen as assistants, how they match within the Patriots’ tradition and his belief in them is properly documented.
Such an strategy, if Belichick in the end strikes in that course, would include danger.
Patricia’s final prolonged time on offense got here in 2004-05 when he was offensive assistant/assistant O-line coach in New England. And Decide has only one yr as an offensive assistant on his résumé, in 2019 as Patriots vast receivers coach. Neither has referred to as offensive performs within the NFL.
In the meantime, quarterback Mac Jones enters his second season, which Belichick typically cites because the yr — for all gamers — wherein the largest leap is made.
Belichick is not one to be rushed into choices, or assign job titles earlier than he has to. However as coaches are scheduled to return to the workplace after a couple of weeks off, creating some extra readability on Patricia’s 2022 function is sensible given the turnover. Together with McDaniels, the Patriots are dropping receivers coach Mick Lombardi, offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo and high quality management/quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree — to not point out the anticipated retirement of operating backs coach Ivan Fears.
When Patricia returned to the staff final yr, his workplace was with the personnel workers and his work included every part from contracts to soccer X’s and O’s. One choice is to maintain him there and have him help within the transition after the departure of director of participant personnel Dave Ziegler, who was employed as Raiders basic supervisor.
Nevertheless, a transfer to extra of a pure teaching function on offense is a state of affairs that bears watching — particularly with so many offensive coaches shifting on.
2. Wolf-Groh combo: Belichick did not attend the Senior Bowl final week, and I am informed it was scouting advisor Eliot Wolf and nationwide scout Matt Groh who led the Patriots contingent, which additionally included a gaggle of youthful scouts. Belichick has choices to make with how the personnel division is structured after Ziegler’s departure, and the preliminary steps on the Senior Bowl had the Wolf-Groh mixture main the best way.
3. Troy’s time: The departure of Lombardi, who dealt with the staff’s pink zone plans final offseason, opens the door for Troy Brown to raise from assistant receivers coach to the full-time function. With the NFL’s minority hiring within the highlight, Brown is a possible future coordinator-type candidate in that pipeline. As for a way the Patriots would possibly change Bricillo, his assistant Billy Yates might rise into the highest offensive line job. Yates has a hyperlink to Patricia from having coached below him in Detroit, so if Patricia does tackle extra of an offensive teaching function in 2022, that connection might be deemed a optimistic.
4. Mayo’s take: Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo was insightful in his media rounds on the Tremendous Bowl, significantly relating to his view on the NFL’s minority hiring and his affinity for coaching in New England. As for the Patriots’ protection, he identified that the unit completed third within the NFL in fewest factors allowed, and seventh in yards allowed. These are details, however context additionally appears essential. How did that protection look when it counted most — within the season finale towards the Dolphins and twice towards the high-powered Payments? Whereas the general rankings cannot be disputed, the better focus looks like it ought to be on why the unit regressed on the finish of the yr.
5. Teaching payroll: When Patricia was employed as head coach of the Lions in 2018, he signed a five-year contract. When Decide was employed as head coach of the Giants in 2020, he additionally signed a five-year contract. With each coaches now again on the Patriots’ workers, and nonetheless accumulating paychecks from their head-coaching offers, it lessens the stress on New England’s teaching payroll. Whereas I do not view that as Belichick’s main motivation, it’s honest to name it an additional benefit. In a way, simply as Belichick seeks out worth on the free-agent market, he has achieved the identical together with his workers.
6. Mac’s Professional Bowl character: Did anybody have extra enjoyable ultimately Sunday’s Professional Bowl than Jones? After watching this entertaining miked-up segment, it is a decisive no. And whereas the sport itself is not essentially must-watch, it might have a major impression for Jones and the Patriots down the road as prime gamers from throughout the NFL acquired an opportunity to see what he is all about … and appeared to enjoy the experience.
7. Draft ideas: There is a lengthy option to go earlier than the NFL draft on April 28-30, however when starting the method of changing into extra acquainted with prospects who would possibly match for the Patriots at No. 21, the attainable choices at receiver had been intriguing to contemplate. Particularly, how does Alabama pass-catcher Jameson Williams’ torn ACL have an effect on his inventory, and does it arrange a state of affairs the place he might slide and the Patriots doubtlessly pull off their model of Joe Burrow–Ja’Marr Chase with Jones-Williams — two gamers from the identical program as first-round picks in back-to-back years.
8. Tremendous prediction: Rams 31, Bengals 23. Just like final yr, when there was conviction that the Buccaneers would win due to the Chiefs’ deficiencies on the offensive line, the Rams have that edge this time round. And turning it nearer to residence, the place the Patriots’ offensive line supplies a stable basis on which to construct, I view the re-signing of middle/guard Ted Karras as a sneaky-but-high precedence.
9. Age-old story: Zac Taylor (38) and Sean McVay (36) are a mixed 74 years previous, making the Bengals-Rams Tremendous Bowl the youngest head-coaching matchup of all time, and the youngest matchup in any postseason sport for the reason that 1936 NFL championship (Ray Flaherty and Curly Lambeau — 71). The view is completely different right here in New England, the place Belichick turns 70 in April and is about to enter his twenty third season as head coach. That continues the longest head-coaching tenure within the NFL and units the desk for what the Patriots hope might be a theme in 2022 — that older and wiser produces championships.
10a. Did You Know, Half I: The Patriots holding the Rams to only three factors in Tremendous Bowl LIII marks the bottom scoring output for Los Angeles in McVay’s 5 seasons as head coach (90 video games).
10b. Did You Know, Half II: The Rams (one) and Bengals (zero) have only one mixed Tremendous Bowl win, marking the primary time for the reason that Patriots confronted the Panthers in XXXVIII that the Tremendous Bowl individuals entered with one or no mixed titles.