The New England Patriots undertook a severe offseason facelift on the offensive end, as Josh McDaniels left to be the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Names like DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton were brought in to assist Mac Jones in his quest to keep improving.
Even with all of the new faces, many of the players that helped New England get to the playoffs have returned to the fold. Jones figures to get much better, and the 1-2 punch of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson promises to be as deadly as ever before.
Rather than capitalize on last year’s momentum, Bill Belichick has taken every opportunity to make fans question the direction of the offense. From taking Cole Strange in the first round and moving Matt Patricia to offensive coordinator, Isaiah Wynn doesn’t sound overwhelmed by the Pats’ attack in 2022.
Wynn said that the Patriots “dumbed [the offense] down a little bit” after McDaniels left. While optimists will claim that they are simplifying the terminology so that they can be followed with more certainty, pessimists will start believing that the offense is going to be more basic and less explosive.
“So far, I feel like they took out a little bit of thinking for us,” Wynn said. “You know what I’m saying? And they kind of dumbed it down a little bit so everybody can play faster.” If you thought a team who won a game throwing just three passes had an offense that was too high-octane and complex, Belichick is here to put on the training wheels.
The New England Patriots have a more simple offense, per Isaiah Wynn
This way of improving the offense is entirely backward. Last year, Jones showed surprising mastery of the system for a rookie quarterback. Rather than allow him to take on an even bigger responsibility, you’re focusing on the basics? These guys can handle the AP version of the offense!
Trying to get the newcomers up to speed with some different plays and terminology is a noble goal, but that oversimplification could manifest in a stale game plan. With the guy ready to take over as the offensive play-caller both a (previously) lousy head coach and inconsistent defensive coordinator, this unusual setup is only getting worse.
The Patriots have already checked the hardest box to fill, as they found a franchise quarterback in Jones. They need to give him as much support as possible rather than slowing down his ascent to the top.
So let’s hope Wynn’s assessment is just him refusing to be descriptive because he’s unhappy with his situation in New England, which might culminate in a position change by Week 1.