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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Patriots’ 2022 coaching staff doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence

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Bianca Oppedisano
Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots coaches on the sidelines. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff

Bill Belichick has had a string of offensive coordinators in his over two decades as the New England Patriots head coach. From 2000 to 2004, he employed Charlie Weis to shepherd the offense, under a young man named Tom Brady, to unparalleled success: Three Super Bowl championships in four years and nine straight playoff wins. However, Weis left after the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX to go coach the Notre Dame football team. Former personnel assistant Josh McDaniels succeeded him.
McDaniels was offensive coordinator for three seasons between 2006 and 2008. He left in 2009, and went to coach the Denver Broncos, but after being fired following the 2010 season, he was brought back to Foxborough to serve in his old job. McDaniels continued to succeed as New England’s offensive coach, winning three Super Bowls and even turning down a chance to serve as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. However, he again left following the 2021 season to coach the Las Vegas Raiders. 
With McDaniels gone, Belichick once again had to find someone to run his offense. But instead of hiring a formal coordinator, he decided to hand the reins to two different men, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Patricia was the Patriots’ former defensive coordinator, who left to coach the Detroit Lions following the 2017 season. However, Patricia did not have much success in Detroit, was widely criticized for the team’s lack of success, and some anonymous Lions players blasted Patricia for what they perceived to be his lack of respect for the team’s veterans and surly attitude towards other players. Patricia returned to the Patriots following the 2020 season, serving as a handyman of sorts working in various roles. For the 2022 season, his official title is “Senior Football Advisor/Offensive Line” coach. Presumably, he will oversee the offense, led by second-year quarterback Mac Jones. 
During the 2022 preseason, many reporters who cover the team reported that the Patriots looked downright awful in practices. On Aug. 9, the offense was so substandard that veteran center David Andrews, considered a leader in the Gillette Stadium locker room, gave the unit a dressing-down after practice was over. Things didn’t get any better on Aug. 23, during a joint practice with McDaniels’ Raiders in Las Vegas. According to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, Jones went 7–of–17 during the practice, with an interception (1). Jones’ lack of progress in the new offense is troubling, as one would hope the Patriots would do whatever is necessary to nurture the development of the man they hope can be their franchise quarterback of the future. Perhaps one of the reasons Jones isn’t developing the way they intended is due to the man the team has entrusted to work with him: Joe Judge.
Judge is another former-Belichick-acolyte-turned-failed-head-coach who was brought back in by the team. The Patriots’ wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator for several years, he was hired as head coach of the New York Giants before the 2020 season. His time there, to say the least, did not go smoothly. The Giants missed the playoffs in both of his seasons as head coach, and he was dismissed following a miserable 4–13 finish in 2021.
Judge was then scooped back up by Belichick following the season. His official title for the team is “quarterback’s coach,” even though he hadn’t played quarterback since he was in college at Mississippi State, and has never coached the position before. With most prognosticators and oddsmakers lukewarm at best on the Pats’ chances in 2022, one has to wonder if Belichick’s coaching choices are truly the right ones to get the team back into contention this year.
1. https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/patriots-offense-has-rough-day-of-practice-vs-raiders/ 
 

About the Contributors
Jack Sherman, Sports Writer
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator