To no shock amongst those who have watched the Patriots’ 2022 season, the latest buzz regarding the team indicates Robert Kraft has shared his displeasure with the offensive coaching staff.
During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s “Patriots Pregame Live” before the team’s week 17 matchup with the Dolphins, The MMQB’s Albert Breer revealed the details, sharing he wouldn’t be surprised to see several coaching changes when the season ends.
"“My understanding is (Kraft has) made comments around the building that basically indicate he’s not happy with where the offensive coaching staff is right now, and I think that that could lead to shuffling at more than just the play-caller spot. I mean, we could be talking about a new coordinator coming in with multiple new position coaches. I think there are several guys on the staff that are going to be reviewed after the year.”"
With the personnel decisions Bill Belichick made this past offseason, it was clear the team needed a plan in place for how to handle Josh McDaniels’ impending departure. But, because it appeared there wasn’t one, Belichick brought back familiar faces Matt Patricia and Joe Judge; both of which had been recently fired from their head coaching stints in Detroit and New York, a seemingly doomed choice from the start.
The consensus wrote off Patricia immediately and doubled down on their assessment during the preseason when the offense was a complete disaster. As the regular season progressed, he received a lot of criticism due to his newly appointed offensive coordinator duties appearing to set back not only the offense but also second-year quarterback Mac Jones, once again calling Belichick’s decision to hand him the clipboard into question.
On top of the regression seen from Jones, the offensive line has also been a sight for sore eyes. Their lack of consistency and, often, a lack of execution has led to the offense struggling in nearly every game this season. Whatever hope Belichick had from promoting his former defensive coordinator to take over his young offense has backfired, to put it lightly, and cements the need to consider new options whenever the Patriots’ season ends.
Seeing how the year transpired, general manager Belichick will need to make those decisions quickly. When the NFL season finishes, teams all over the league scramble to get their team the best available coaches, which tend to be few and far between. Because New England is not traditionally involved in this scenario, seeing how Belichick moves may indicate what is to come, especially when considering Kraft’s involvement in the decision-making.
Breer discussed the possibility of Kraft needing to step in to ensure those changes happen, mainly if the head coach seems unwilling to make them himself.
"“So I think once we get to the end of the season, this can’t be a two- or three-week process of Bill trying to figure things out. He’s going to have to get pieces in place quickly whether they make the playoffs or not, and I just think a lot of this is going to come down to whether Bill does this on his own or not. Will Bill on his own volition go and change the offensive coaching staff, or is it going to take Robert Kraft going to him.And then if Robert Kraft goes to him, how does he address Bill Belichick? Is it an ultimatum? Is it a discussion? I think there’s a lot to be determined there, and how Robert Kraft approaches this if Bill doesn’t make the changes on his own is going to be very interesting and probably dictates which way this goes.”"
How this will play out will undoubtedly be one of the more interesting aspects of New England’s offseason.