Ex-Patriots running back says team's projected win total is "disrespectful"

Los Angeles Rams v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Rams v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

When discussing how the Patriots will likely fare during the 2023 season, most have already written them off from performing any better than one year ago.

Despite the noticeable positive changes made to the team this offseason, by hiring Bill O'Brien and Adrian Klemm, signing some quality free agents, and having a presumed successful draft, the way the rest of the division looks has pushed New England to the bottom of the totem pole.

From the Jets pulling off the massive trade for Aaron Rodgers, the Dolphins adding Jalen Ramsey to their already impressive secondary, and the Bills on track to continue their AFC East domination, the season outcome predictions for the Patriots have been bleak.

But not all believe New England will fail.

While appearing on “NESN Ultimate Betting Show” last week, LeGarrette Blount gave his take on his former team's season, proclaiming they will outperform the low expectations the media have placed upon them over the last several months.

"I think the Patriots will definitely be better than expected. They’ve got a consistent offensive coordinator. They’ve got guys in the room that are veterans. They’ve got new guys that can perform at a high level. Obviously, Rhamondre (Stevenson) is going to be healthier this year. DeVante Parker, (Kendrick Bourne), these guys are all playmakers, and they’re going to be in a really good position this year. I think they’re going to be in a good spot."

And since he was appearing on a betting show, of course they had to discuss what the Vegas odds were suggesting the Patriots' season would look like.

They are currently the favorites to end last in the division, plus their current win/loss projection is said to be sitting at 7.5, which is certainly an uncommon estimate of a Bill Belichick-coached team.

That number didn't sit right with Blount, who called the projection "disrespectful," mainly because of Belchick's presence on the team.

"I think 7.5 is pretty disrespectful. Just with Bill alone, as the coach, I think they’ll exceed 7.5. They’re going to be really good. I think they’re gonna have a really solid defense, and that’s what usually carries the Patriots through that threshold. It’s been like that for years. I definitely think they go over 7.5 wins, for sure."

It's easy to agree with what he's saying when considering the incredible adjustments and changes made to the team since the 2022 season ended.

Matt Patricia is gone, who took the brunt of the blame for last year's season but had a hand in most of the weakest parts of the team.

O'Brien was brought back to reintroduce a competent offensive playbook and scheme, along with bringing experience and expertise regarding offenses in the NFL.

Former Patriot Adrian Klemm was hired for his unmatched qualifications in coaching the offensive line, which was one of the most inconsistent aspects of last year's team.

And then, there are the additions via free agency and the draft. Although we are yet to see what all the newest members to the roster can do on the field, several have already proven to be impressive during OTAs and minicamp, a good sign as they head into training camp.

With so much on the line for Belichick and the Patriots this season, especially after missing the playoffs for the second time in three years last year, there will undoubtedly be less tolerance for incompetent play throughout the summer.

The adjustments made to the team were very much needed and have already shown to be impactful early on, bringing more optimism that the team will be far better prepared than they were for the 2022 season.

With all that in place now, it's hard to imagine a team with a much-improved offense, a steadily dominant defense, and an overall shift in energy would only win (maybe) seven games in the upcoming season. So unless something drastic happens during training camp and preseason, Blount's assertion that they'll perform better than what is projected doesn't seem far-fetched.