Patriots continue offensive transformation

New York Giants Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium (Preseason)
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The Patriots continue to adjust to life after Josh McDaniels, with an offense featuring changes that go far beyond McDaniels being gone.

Over the weekend, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com addressed the transformation on the offensive side of the ball.

As Reiss notes, multiple players (including quarterback Mac Jones and receiver Kendrick Bourne) have referred to the team as having a “new offense.” Last week, center David Andrews addressed the full offense after a shaky practice.

Andrews’ efforts continued during the preseason opener. “He’s a five-time team captain,” coach Bill Belichick told reporters after the game. “I wouldn’t say that’s a big surprise.”

It is a bit of a surprise that the Patriots have decided to engage in an apparent overhaul of the offense.

“When you’re doing some new things, there’s going to be some growing pains,” quarterback Brian Hoyer said last week.

Reiss explains that the changes are in part about making things easier, about trimming the fat from a system that had grown over 20 years.

Also, the team is simplifying terminology. But even if the play calls are shorter, the players still need to learn a new language.

Ultimately, the offense won’t be dramatically different. As Hoyer said, “There’s [still] elements of what we’ve always done here.”

There may be elements that linger, but the changes really are fundamental. McDaniels is gone, and someone as to replace his skills and abilities. The two biggest names that have emerged so far are guys who have never coordinated an offense — former Lions coach Matt Patricia (a former defensive coordinator) and former Giants coach Joe Judge (a former special-teams coordinator).

Again, if any other head coach were doing this, everyone would be questioning his sanity. Because it’s Belichick, he gets the benefit of the doubt. We’ll see if folks are still feeling that way once the regular season gets going — especially if the new offense doesn’t.

9 responses to “Patriots continue offensive transformation

  1. Tampa Bay has Co Defensive Co-Ordinator’s. Bowles is calling the defensive plays. Where is the uproar? Detroit’s OC may or may not call the plays because he is “green”. This stuff is not unique, especially around Gillette.

  2. Weird that I didn’t see any of the struggling offense in the Giants preseason game. The backups looked ok to me and the offense not all that different from last year.

    Will say we can put to rest the comments I’ve seen here that Zappe could take Jones job. No he won’t.

  3. The constant columns and media coverage of this is two things:

    1. A huge moneymaker during a slow time. Any time the media bases BB, it makes money. Inseat of educating the public, they bash as lazy media people because it’s an absolute to prey on the less intelligent, so there is 24/7 coverage of BB tweaking his offense and NOT even playing Mac Jones in Week 1 of the preseason. That’s a tell right there.

    2. What does Miami study? What does Pitt study in Week 2? Do you practice defending zone runs or not? What does Thornton do in the offense? What about Parker? What does he do? Do you practice too much of one thing and then BB comes out with something completely different?

    There’s a reason barely any starters (unless new players to the team who need reps), didn’t play vs the Giants.

    I can smell the fear. That’s what I smell.

  4. look its going to be a tough year for the Patriots. Look at that schedule- its brutal – if they can get to 9 – 8 I would deem that a success and quite honestly I think if they go 8-9 with that schedule it would be okay and not a disaster. If they have a bad year the uniformed reactionary fans are going to jump all over Bill. Anyone that knows football knows with no Brady and no MacDaniels this had to be done. The two of them were not going to be there forever and that day has come. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and take a look at your systems and players and figure out the best path forward. that’s what is going on here.

  5. Belichick explained this a few years ago. He runs the same system they ran from the 1970s when he was an assistant in Denver, which is basically Erherdt-Perkins. NFL fans really think they understand what these people do and also that it’s very complex to get. The new terminology is probably more for Judge and Patricia than it is for the players. They literally ran several iterations of the playbook when Brady was there from his game manager stage to power running with Dillon to wide open system with Moss to the two TE set with Gronk and Hernandez. It’s why that system is so versatile.

  6. People are obsessed with NE’s ocoordinator for no reason. People get promoted to offensive coordinator from TE coach and things like that all the time with no playcalling or coordinator experience, and people don’t question the fact that they’ve never been a coordinator or called plays before. NE’s TE coach probably would have been the next option as O coordinator if Patricia and Judge weren’t available. Patricia has coached offensive positions before. He’s been a coordinator before. Even if they’re both failed HCs they’re both very valuable BB minions that he respects and values a lot, knows NE’s system, and BB thinks they give the team the best chance to win.

  7. Belichick should be careful. He has a huge grace period because of all the SB wins, but it won’t last forever. Managing a team with Brady at QB is quite different than building one from scratch. Thus far, Belichick has not show very good team building skills, from his poor drafts, wierd trades, and now inexperienced coaches.

    Kraft is watching and probably still a little angry that Belichick let Brady leave.

  8. realfootballfan says:
    August 15, 2022 at 11:24 am
    Belichick explained this a few years ago. He runs the same system they ran from the 1970s when he was an assistant in Denver, which is basically Erherdt-Perkins. NFL fans really think they understand what these people do and also that it’s very complex to get. The new terminology is probably more for Judge and Patricia than it is for the players. They literally ran several iterations of the playbook when Brady was there from his game manager stage to power running with Dillon to wide open system with Moss to the two TE set with Gronk and Hernandez. It’s why that system is so versatile.

    ———————-

    Correct. And, if there was truth to this whole thing being such a huge problem, why didn’t the starters get reps in the preseason game to practice it? The media loves disinformation with regards to the Pats. You have to do your own homework to get the truth. It’s there, it’s just that the media hides it from the reader.

    BB has been spending 20 years being unconventional, creative, and altering/shifting things to make his teams really difficult to prepare for. That’s what this is mainly about outside of the “streamlining” concept. The simplification is another layer of offense just like when NE introduced some West Coast plays in the mid 00s. It didn’t mean they dropped the base offense, they’re just adding layers.

    Meanwhile, I can tell what all these other NFL teams do every year. Pittsburgh comes to mind. As does KC. They have a system, never changed anything or add anything and just expect their talent to be the difference, when a lot of the time it’s not talent, it’s scheme and confusion like NE likes to do which is a big reason BB built 2 dynasties and other jealous teams claim it’s “cheating”. No, it’s called being smart. It’s basically a form of interference in a warfare sense.

    This is also why buy-in is big and team play and no primadonnas in the locker room is big. Stay in your lane, trust the process and the results will be there. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Other teams pimp star players and stat lines as they lose games.

    My guess is Mac and starters play 2 drives vs Carolina and it will be super generic stuff that they used last year and nothing will be used in preseason that will look remotely like we see in the regular season.

    Mac is likely so far ahead from the old teminology and how to run that offense, they can always draw up plays using that terminology. They’re shifting a bit because that’s what BB does.

    Mac is also probably helping with some gameplanning and approaches like Brady had been doing for years. That’s how far along Mac Jones is. It’s like Rodgers or Brady need coordinators per se. It’s good to have a good one, but I’ll take BB as a sounding board over anyone else in the history of football, thanks very much.

    The troll media is not that. They’re just jealous they’re not as intelligent as BB and when they don’t comprehend what he is doing, they mock it, but behind it is a jealousy.

    If it fails, which I have a hard time believing based on last year’s great progress from the newer players, then the media can jump on it.

    Even Brady led Pats teams in Sept started slow and BB sees it as a tinkering thing for the entire month of Sept anyway.

    People don’t get how far along Mac is and they don’t want to admit it because it blows a broadside hole in the agenda premise that Brady was the Pats. Hilarious (but scary) disinformation.

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