There hasn’t been a great start to the Matt Patricia Experiment in New England. Matt Patricia, the team’s defensive coordinator, and offensive line coach, has been given the responsibility of calling offensive plays by head coach Bill Belichick rather than appointing a new offensive coordinator to replace Josh McDaniels this offseason.
The Patriots are 26th in yards per game heading into Sunday, and quarterback Mac Jones has taken a major step back under Patricia after making the Pro Bowl as a rookie under McDaniels. Would Belichick consider ending the Patricia Experiment after just one season if the Patriots offense doesn’t show signs of improvement over the final eight games?
Albert Breer of The MMQB went on “Patriots Pregame Live” on NBC Sports Boston to talk about the rumors.
Breer, speaking of Patricia’s appointment as play-caller, is heard saying, “I do think ownership is taking a wait-and-see approach with this,” in the above video player. If things don’t improve in the next two months, “… I still don’t think they’ve made any final decision about where this is going to be in 2023 or 2024.”
Is it possible that he could be made available after his sophomore year at Alabama? In reference to O’Brien, Breer made the following remark. “Can we assume that he wants to be geographically closer to his family? He has been apart from his loved ones for quite some time now. Even though he took a job in Alabama, he and his family remained in Houston, so he obviously has deep ties to the city.”
O’Brien, a native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2011. He worked as an assistant coach for the team from 2007 to 2011. Many people considered him a viable option to replace McDaniels during the offseason.
Matt Patricia Isn’t Bill Belichick
Let’s be honest: until he proves himself as his own man, the current defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots will always be compared to Bill Belichick.
Of all the assistants who have come to New England with the label of being compared to Belichick, Patricia arrived in 2004 as something of a blank slate, which could be an advantage when the New York Giants look to their next head coach to restore pride to the organization after one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
He’s picked up some skills from the Hoodie and is ready to show them off to Patricia. A source familiar with the Giants’ thinking has said that Patricia,
New England’s offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Minnesota’s offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur are the three finalists for the job. Patricia is seen as the likeliest of the three to end up as the successor to Ben McAdoo, who was fired on December 4.
Walked Across The Aisle
The most compelling information I’ve heard about Patricia, which I think the Giants will find persuasive, is that he played offensive line at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later worked as an offensive coach under New England legend Dante Scarnecchia.
When Belichick saw something special in Patricia, he shifted him to defense. In this case, he was absolutely correct. Patricia isn’t just a defensive guru, and that’s a quality Giants GM Dave Gettleman mentioned when discussing the next head coach: the ability to act as a CEO.
McAdoo struggled to maintain a holistic perspective on the team because he spent so much time this season trying to improve the offense, which he ultimately was unable to do.
The Patriots allow opponents to gain yardage, but each week they prepare for their opponent by making slight but significant changes to their defensive strategy. In the four seasons prior to this one, the Patriots allowed their opponents an average of less than 20 points per game.
Although Patricia has good players on his roster, they are not all Pro Bowl caliber. However, his teams feature players who can easily adjust to new formations and strategies. Whenever possible, people in New England will take advantage of a situation.
Of course, Belichick has had an impact, but Patricia has also grown into more of a leadership role as the seasons have progressed.
McAdoo, the offensive coordinator the Giants hired, is to set in his ways to adapt.
Since his entire career has consisted of making do with whatever comes his way, he will be perfectly content if they choose Patricia.
Patricia prefers the trustworthiness of a pencil, which is why you can usually find one tucked behind his right ear on game day. When the weather is bad, a pen may not work as well, so a pencil is recommended.
Patricia is the Giants’ “middle of the road” candidate among the three final candidates for a head coach.
While Shurmur may have the best track record of any head coach in terms of developing quarterbacks, he is viewed as a potential liability as the team’s public face because of a lack of charisma. Is he intimidating enough to lead a team? This is a possibility, but it’s hard to say for sure.
Apart from wearing a clown shirt mocking NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s role in Deflategate last season, Patricia’s resume is otherwise spotless. A few players have mentioned Patricia’s colorful language, but always in the context of criticism.
Players respect Patricia because he is not afraid to confront them, but his leadership and coaching abilities are rarely discussed negatively. That’s a great trait to have, and it may be the best thing Patricia can give the Giants now that he’s in the lead.