The 2022 season came to an end for the Patriots yesterday, as their loss to the Bills gave the team an 8-9 record and kept them out of the postseason. That represents a disappointing finish to the campaign and has invited speculation about changes being made on the sidelines.
One constant which will remain heading into 2023 will be head coach Bill Belichick. The 70-year-old announced on Monday that he will stay on as the Patriots’ bench boss for what will be his 24th season at the helm. He made it clear, however, that a thorough review of the organization will commence, adding that “we’ll look at everything.”
While Belichick’s announcement comes as little surprise, it also included little in the way of details concerning the future of the team’s offensive coaching staff. To replace longtime offensive coordinator (and current Raiders head coach) Josh McDaniels, the Patriots elected to split his responsibilities between ex-Pats staffers Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. The marked lack of experience on the offensive side of the ball for both of them led to plenty of scrutiny leading into, and during, the season.
New England finished the year in the bottom half of the league on several offensive fronts, averaging 331 yards and 21.4 points per game. Second-year quarterback Mac Jones took a step back in several categories, leading to something of a QB controversy when he was briefly replaced by rookie Bailey Zappe due to an injury earlier in the season. Most importantly, the unit’s struggles have led to increasing calls for a new, more experienced OC to be brought in.
When asked about the future of Patricia and Judge in the organization (or at least in their current capacities), Belichick added, via Michael Hurley of CBS Boston, “We’ll evaluate everything that we’ve done – from me on down to everybody else – and evaluate things and make improvements where we feel like we can. Again, there were a lot of positive things over the year in all areas that we can build on, but in the end, it wasn’t what we want it to be or need it to be.”
Alabama OC – and fellow Patriots alum – Bill O’Brien has been connected to a potential vacancy for the same role in New England. The interest between him and the Patriots, depending on which direction the team goes concerning Patricia and Judge, will be worth monitoring in the offseason. In any case, the status quo will be in place for at least one more year concerning the team’s leader on the sidelines.