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Bill Belichick and the Patriots played the entire 2022 season without an official offensive or defensive coordinator. It did not go well for them.
New England went 8-9, finished third in the AFC East and missed out on the playoffs. It finished with the No. 17-ranked offense and No. 10-ranked defense in terms of points per game.
While the defensive side of the ball may not have been as big of an issue issue, the offensive side of the ball was a mess. The Patriots offense, on multiple occasions, failed its defense. Plain and simple.
According to a recent report from the Boston Herald, a large part of those struggles stemmed from the coordinators. Or, rather, lack thereof.
Quarterback Mac Jones was particularly frustrated by quarterbacks coach Joe Judge. He apparently was not alone.
Per the Herald, Jones and Judge would often engage in “profanity-laced outbursts.” Belichick would “blast (Judge) in practice.”
One source said that “Mac didn’t like him at all.”
Another said that Judge tried to “project like he was the guy,” which ruffled feathers throughout the organization. “A lot” of people were frustrated with the former New York Giants head coach and Jones did not have much trust in Judge.
The frustration within the Patriots organization did not stop at Joe Judge.
Considering that neither Judge nor Matt Patricia had any experience running an offense, it was not a big surprise that it did not go well. Multiple players reportedly raised concerns with the offensive game plans throughout the year.
A lot of guys would ask, ‘Well, what’s going to happen if [the defense] does this?’ And you would see they hadn’t really accounted for that yet. And they’d say, ‘We’ll get to that when we get to that.’ That type of attitude got us in trouble.— A source told the Boston Herald
Former New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left for the head coaching job in Las Vegas during last offseason. Belichick tried to take a different approach without him. It didn’t work.
I love coach (Belichick) but he f—ked us.— A source told the Boston Herald
This reported disfunction is why Bill O’Brien is returning to New England for 2023.
Patricia and Judge’s futures with the organization are up in the air. However, it sounds like the former will likely remain on staff while the latter seeks opportunity elsewhere.