With less than two months to go until Commissioner Roger Goodell tries to mend some fences in Boston with his appearance at the regular-season opener, at least one person in Boston may want to try to mend some fences with Goodell.
Per a league source, the Commissioner continues to be miffed about Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s decision to wear the Barstool Sports Goodell-with-a-clown-nose T-shirt while disembarking from the plane that brought the team back from Super Bowl LI. The question of whether Goodell should or shouldn’t still be upset isn’t relevant; he is. And the broader question will be whether teams looking for head coaches will take a dimmer view of Patricia because of it.
While it takes only one team to buck a trend, plenty of teams tiptoe on eggshells when it comes to the league office, which also has plenty of sway when it comes to “advising” teams on which coaches could be or should be hired. If hiring Patricia potentially puts a team on the wrong side of the man who runs the sport, that could be a factor that weighs against Patricia getting a head-coaching gig.
Which necessarily becomes a factor that weighs in favor of the Patriots keeping him around, indefinitely. Many assume that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will be the successor to coach Bill Belichick, but McDaniels could be long gone by the time Belichick hangs up his sawed-off hoodie. If Patricia never leaves in part because no one else will hire him to be a head coach, advantage Patriots.