The Patriots' 2022 season has been discussed and criticized, debated and analyzed, and any other way to say gone over with a fine tooth comb, an overwhelming number of times over the past nine months. But now that the Patriots are just days away from the start of the new season, much of that conversation has been in the news lately, mainly for one reason: Matt Patricia.
The former longtime Patriots coach is now a senior defensive assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles, who face off against his former team in week one. Although he has nothing to do with New England anymore, he is in the news again for how his presence on the opposing team's sideline may impact the Patriots' offensive plans for their matchup on Sunday.
But that hasn't been the only topic about Patricia in the news this week.
Because so much has been made about the alleged tension-filled relationship between Mac Jones, Joe Judge, and Patricia throughout last year and the drastic shift in enthusiasm around Foxboro heading into this season, Devin McCourty was asked about the awkwardness behind the scenes during an appearance this week on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show."
"That wasn’t a good thing. There was nothing good about that. I think a lot of people talk about the season, but from training camp, there was nothing good about that."
Maybe without even realizing it, McCourty just confirmed a lot of rumors surrounding Bill Belichick's decision to make Patricia the offensive coordinator.
In typical Patriots fashion, players spoke highly of working with their new coach, and even when things weren't looking so pretty, most of them, including Mac Jones, remained optimistic and complimentary of his effort. But rumors swirled that the relationship between Patricia, Joe Judge, and the quarterback wasn't what it seemed, taking a sour turn early in the spring, seemingly setting the tone for the rest of the year.
The former safety went into further detail regarding the issues created by Patricia's inexperience as an offensive coordinator, crediting the coach for his work on the defense, and expects he will do well with his new team.
"He’s a really good football coach. He’s a defensive mind and that’s what he is and that’s what he’s made his living on in the NFL. So, he’s gonna get back to doing that. … I think he’s gonna add some things, some insight, to that team player-wise and mainly coaching staff-wise — things they can do to try to be effective against New England. But yeah, I think everybody in New England, even Matty P, is happy that whole experiment is over and he’s back to doing what he loves doing: coaching ball and talking defense."
The most revealing part about McCourty's answer is his candidness, which you rarely hear with players in New England. Now that he's retired, it seems he's willing to be more open about what was going on, especially regarding a highly debated topic like Bill Belichick's decision to make Patricia the offensive coordinator.
On top of that, he solidified that it wasn't just the offense that was excited to see Patricia's exit; the entire team, including Patricia himself, embraced the change and was happy the experiment was over.
It's fascinating to hear this all confirmed after Belichick and several members of the Patriots team have continued to gloss over how bad things really were in the locker room. Not to mention, the addition of Bill O'Brien has clearly made a world of difference, and the offense, in particular, continues to rave about the impact he's made on them collectively.