The New England Patriots are approaching a very crucial 2023 season, and there are a few players in the organization who are on the hot seat.
The 2021 season for the team was quite encouraging, and it was nice to see that the team had apparently rebounded and reset themselves from the departure of Tom Brady.
However, in 2022, the team took a massive step back. The offense was largely inept, and it became clear that Matt Patricia was the primary issue.
Turns out, making a defensive coach call plays on offense is not efficient. To try and fix the issue, Bill Belichick hired Bill O’Brien to be the OC.
This is a good hire, and I don’t care what anyone in the national media says. O’Brien is a proven offensive mind and was a solid head coach in the NFL.
I think we’ll see immediate improvement in the offense, but there is no guarantee.
Let’s look at some players on the hot seat in 2023.
Who are some Patriots on the hot seat for the 2023 season?
1. Mac Jones
Mac Jones is going to be the starter for the 2023 season. That’s the way it appears to be trending, but I do think he’ll be on a short leash. Moreover, Jones’ poor 2022 season can likely be attributed to Matt Patricia, but what if Jones doesn’t take a big enough leap forward?
What if Jones is just OK, but nothing special? He was pretty dang solid in his rookie season, and I think he gets a pass for 2022. So, Mac Jones should be able to build off of 2021, right?
I think the Patriots could have a sticky situation on their hands if Jones doesn’t play as well as he should.
2. Trent Brown
The Patriots could easily get out of Trent Brown’s contract this offseason, but I do think they’ll keep him around unless they are adamant about improving both tackle spots. I think the Patriots could consider moving Brown back to right tackle and should then look to the 2023 NFL Draft to find a young left tackle and a potential long-term option at RT.
If Brown does remain on the team, it could be a big year for him to prove that he does belong on the Patriots’ OL.
3. Bill Belichick
The last Patriot on the hot seat is Bill Belichick. Having two losing seasons and just one playoff appearance in the last three seasons is not the Patriot Way, and some of his decisions have contributed greatly to the team’s lack of success the last few years.
Being that he is the HC and GM, another disappointing offseason and disappointing 2023 season could mark the end of Belichick’s tenure as the HC and GM of the Patriots.
He’s over 70 years old and is already nearing the end, but I think 2023 could very well be it if progress is not made.