Patriots media should stop bellyaching about Wolf's and Mayo's comments

There is a new era in Foxborough and they are stating that clearly, as well they should.

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Recent comments on the Patriots' football operation by Head Coach Jerod Mayo and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf have drawn flack even from some of Boston's most astute Patriots' commentators. Frankly, they should get over it. It is what it is: a new era in Foxborough.

Things at Gillette Stadium have been on a downward spiral since Bill Belichick decided to jettison the best player to ever put on the Patriots uniform, Tom Brady after the 2018 Super Bowl-winning season, no less. Then, he and owner Robert Kraft allowed Brady to sign a phony two-year deal with no franchise clause that ticketed him out of town right after the relatively dismal (for the Patriots) 2019 season.

That move, accompanied by terrible drafting ultimately occasioned the team's precipitous fall from the top of the AFC East to the bottom in four years. That demise also precipitated owner Kraft's dismissal of long-time head coach, general manager, and six-time Super Bowl winner Belichick.

If that didn't signal that things were totally off-the-rails, then what would have? There are several clear and obvious reasons why the new hierarchy should separate themselves policy-wise from the prior regime, and they'll be explored here.

The New England "Patriot Way" was a mirage and had flopped

The so-called "Patriot Way" was never anything more than stumbling fortuitously with the help of the late, very astute Assistant Coach, Dick Rehbein, into drafting Tom Brady in the sixth round of 2000. Brady was the "Patriot Way," which equated to being the all-time biggest winner in NFL history. Bill Belichick occasioned Brady's exit, and that nonsensical decision ultimately led to his being shown the door by Kraft.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. Pre- and post-Brady Belichick's Patriots made one playoff game in five seasons and were summarily blown out in that one by the Buffalo Bills. Little worked without Brady, and that was as obvious as the proverbial nose-on-your-face to anyone paying attention.

Mayo and Wolf were component parts of the post-Brady staff overseeing the team's demise. As such, it's not only advisable and logical but also absolutely essential that they distance themselves in football and operational policy from the dysfunctional aspects of the post-Brady disaster. Otherwise, why would a change make any sense at all?

A note here: this space had suggested that a change in general management, aka personnel, should take place while retaining Belichick as head coach. That didn't happen. Kraft decided on a clean break and Wolf and Mayo are now in charge. The owner evidently felt that Belichick constrained Wolf on personnel matters and that Mayo would bring fresh perspectives on the sideline. Again, why would Kraft have made a switch if they didn't induce those changes?

Wolf's comments about atmospherics and personnel policy make perfect sense

Anyone who observed the public persona of the former Head Coach doesn't have to be a genius to realize it left a lot to be desired. That may work if you have Brady to paper over all your personnel flaws and certain aspects of your coaching.

Without Brady, however, it just portrays a surly, curmudgeonly demeanor that does the team's image no good at all. Changing that and improving the atmosphere in the building were also essential to address if they were an issue, which it seems they were very well. It's all just part of the new dynamic of change.

Wolf's addressing the issue of rating players also made perfect sense. Belichick's drafting system was flawed; his performance was even called out by owner Kraft himself, no less, and many free agency choices weren't much better. If Wolf isn't ready to publicly declare he'll spark those revisions, and it's presumed the status quo remains, then again, why would Kraft have made any changes at all?

Mayo noted the team needs to utilize younger players more and groom them as part of the on-field strategy. If that were inappropriate, then, again, why not keep Belichick and his punitive approach to young players who make a mistake (think Demario Douglas in 2023) around in the same capacities now? Here's what Mayo had to say, as cited by,

"One aspect of building through the draft that the Patriots plan on emphasizing more moving forward is playing younger players to give them the in-game reps to develop. To that point, Mayo said, 'You want to play younger players because, first of all, they're cheaper. But you want to have a good mix, though. You need that 30-year-old who can settle everyone down.'"

Boston media types should really take a step back in being too critical of a new regime that should be and is distancing itself from the prior regime (as their boss, owner Robert Kraft, did quite emphatically by firing Belichick). Wolf and Mayo are doing exactly what must be done in drawing a clear distinction between the unsuccessful past few years and the hopefully soon-to-again-be-successful future.

The Belichick era was what it was: terrific with Tom Brady and terrible after he was broomed. Wolf and Mayo now have to right the ship, unfortunately, without that great safety valve, TB12, at their disposal. It won't be easy. It never is. In light of that, making a clean and clear break in public with the failed post-Brady Patriots is clearly the right thing to do, both for them and for the team.

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