5 New England Patriots players who need to have a bounce-back season in 2023

  • Can Kendrick Bourne revert to his 2021 season?
  • Will Mac Jones show why he is the quarterback of the future in New England?
  • How will Hunter Henry become a dominant fixture of the offense again?
New York Jets v New England Patriots
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Trent Brown

2022 stats:

  • Sacks allowed: 9
  • QB hits: 10
  • Penalties: 9 for a loss of 60 yards
  • Snap total: 1,032

One of the most consistent issues of the 2022 season was the performance of the offensive line. Although the main perpetrator is no longer on the team (Isaiah Wynn), Trent Brown was only one step behind him as one of the weakest links in the group.

Among the struggles the offense faced throughout the year, several linemen suffered injuries, creating chaos in finding who to replace them with on game day. Brown was one of the players whose versatility to play on either side became valuable, especially as others had to play out of position.

Somewhere along the way, however, it seemed like Brown had kind of checked out of the season. It was a part of his character that even former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was aware of and knew how to combat. But because of the lengthy problems the offense had with Matt Patricia, who was calling plays and coaching the line, it didn't get much better as the weeks went on.

By season's end, Brown had a team-high nine penalties totaling a loss of 60 yards. On top of that, he also allowed nine sacks and ten quarterback hits, adding to the quarterback's troubles throughout the year.

Fast forward to this offseason, and it wasn't looking good between Brown and the Patriots. The tackle missed mandatory minicamp after what was initially reported to be due to a canceled flight because of weather. But when he didn't show up for the rest of those practices, questions arose about his position on the team.

After that was apparently handled, Brown has been in attendance for all practices this summer and hasn't performed as one of the weaker players on the offensive line. The unit is still troubled, but it doesn't appear that Brown is a leading cause for that.

As we near week one with concerns surrounding the linemen overall, Brown will need a bounce-back season to show why Belichick traded for him to come back two years ago. He was a leading contributor to their Super Bowl LIII run and has demonstrated great power as a reliable tackle for the team.

With so much on the line for the Patriots in general and his career in New England, Brown will need to protect Jones better this season and get back on track with what is expected of him on the field.