The bombshell report published by the Boston Herald on Thursday gained much traction within the media. The Patriots’ 2022 season has remained a topic of interest despite their season ending in week 18 of the regular season, and it continues to be discussed as personnel changes begin already.
There is a lot to digest from the article written by the Herald’s Andrew Callahan and Karen Guregian, most notably the feelings of Patriots staff regarding quarterback Mac Jones.
Jones received a lot of criticism throughout the year, mainly stemming from his on-field display of frustration during a game. Because of the rumored issues behind the scenes with Matt Patricia as the offensive play caller, it was assumed that irritation by Jones was in response to him. But the Herald’s report describes the tension between quarterbacks coach Joe Judge and Jones brewing from the start of training camp in May.
The report cites a source that suggests Jones’ earliest comments on Judge’s addition to the staff weren’t well received by Judge himself nor higher-ups in the Patriots organization. Although his statement was on par with an optimistic view that Jones has been known for sharing publicly, some behind the scenes did not hear it that way.
When speaking to reporters in May after the team’s first OTA’s practice, the quarterback had this to say about Judge.
"“He has knowledge that is very beneficial to me as a quarterback, and obviously I’m going to learn with him. That’s the goal, is to kind of teach each other and move along and take what he knows and then take the experiences that I have and combine them and work together as a great team.”"
According to Callahan and Guregian, the relatively innocent comment bothered Patriots staffers, particularly the idea of a second-year quarterback teaching his quarterbacks coach.
"“Seeds of dysfunction were planted in the spring and summer, around the time Jones told the media he would teach his new quarterbacks coach, Joe Judge, the first of multiple comments he made that would irk higher-ups.”"
What those other instances of “multiple comments” that rubbed the higher-ups the wrong way were not mentioned. However, revisiting what Jones and several Patriots players candidly shared throughout the season it’s easy to assume what they may have consisted of.
How this may impact Jones going forward is unclear, but given how the season progressed and the massive changes to the coaching staff taking place, maybe those bothered by the comments can finally see why they were said in the first place.