Although last season is far away in the rearview mirror, the Patriots’ disappointing performance continues to be a topic of conversation.
It has taken over the New England media again this past week due to Matt Patricia’s potential move to work with Sean Payton’s staff in Denver. Many have reflected on his struggle as the offensive play caller last year and what his future may look like with the Patriots if there is any future there anyway.
Coaches and players have been blamed for how the 2022 season turned out, but Patricia seemed to be hit with the harshest critiques. Although most of it is warranted, one person can’t be responsible for the output of an entire team, regardless of how poorly we feel they performed.
And now the latest rumor circulating online appears to take some heat off the former defensive coordinator, alleging that the blame is misplaced.
In Ben Volin’s latest article for The Boston Globe, he suggests that Patricia actually did not want to take over as play-caller and only did so as a favor to Bill Belichick.
Initially, it may seem hard to believe, and it’s possible it isn’t true. But remembering how consistently defensive Belichick was regarding Patricia’s performance and his reiteration of confidence in him as an offensive coach, the rumor feels much more plausible. Not to mention, before the regular season began, the head coach took responsibility for any failures during the season on offense, stating, “if it doesn’t go well, blame me.”
Belichick has certainly made it clear that last season’s disappointing result falls square on his shoulders, whether or not he genuinely feels that way or it’s a result of Robert Kraft’s feelings on the matter. But it’s also clear that there is recognition of Patricia’s role in it all, considering he is not currently (technically) employed by the Patriots and is reportedly “untethered” from the organization.
Regardless if this new rumor has any truth, there is still fault to be put on Patricia for failing the offense. Plenty of finger-pointing is already in Belichick’s direction, and this supposed “favor” that Patricia did for him doesn’t add more to it. Instead, it seems more like an attempt to fix his image as he hopes to find a job with a new team in the NFL.