Patriots: Coaching Staff Or Crony Staff?

April 1, 2022

Bill Belichick has earned the benefit of the doubt over the past two decades. He’s been the head coach of the New England Patriots, and I have faith in the man, but it isn’t blind. There are differences between this year and the past that I have to at least discuss; the coaching staff, the lack of top-tier talent, and the infamous Belichick inner circle of trust.

This is the present, not the past

Tom Brady isn’t a part of the roster. They have also lost most of their veteran coaching staff over the past few seasons. (Josh McDaniels, Mick Lombardi, Carmen Bricillo, Ivan Fears is on the fence about retirement) just to name the staff members who left this off-season. The league has changed. Teams now are way more talented they were in the past 20 years.

Our roster has glaring holes to fill with around an average amount of draft capital. A lot of players on the team already are going to have to take that year two leap. It will be hard when losing so much continuity in the coaching staff. I understand when Tom Brady is under center and you have a stacked roster, you can play around with the rest of your staff, but most of this team is new to the system or new to the league.

What The Future Holds For The Coaching Staff

These are the men that Bill decides to bring back into the coaching staff? Both left the Patriots to pursue their goal of becoming an NFL head coaches. They were so overwhelmed by the position that they are known across the league as burnt out.

Former Lions safety Glover Quin had this to say, “Coach Patricia came in and tore it all down and a lot of the guys didn’t really want to buy into what he was teaching because of the way he presented it. His attitude, his persona, his arrogance, things like that made people not really want to buy into it. That was the disconnect.” Hopefully getting fired brought Patricia a piece of that humble pie. Joe Judge had a tough role to fill and fell out of grace quickly that boiled to an embarrassing 11-minute runaround press conference he was later fired for.

Bill desires to prove himself so for some reason so rehires both men with their salaries being paid by their previous employers (a big reason why he hired them in my opinion). Now though he may have to lean on them as leaders in this coaching staff to teach the young talent, something both men struggled to do in the past as head coaches.

Having Josh McDaniels on the offensive coaching staff had allowed Bill to focus more on the defense making it more reasonable that he didn’t have a coordinator on that side of the ball. Now he won’t be able to give the defense the same oversight as he has in the past. There is a distinct lack of quality veteran coaching on both sides of the ball and that worries me greatly.

Bill Belichick’s Current Plan for the off-season

Coordinator by Committee?

For starters, Bill has two of his sons in defensive coaching roles. Steve Belichick is the outside linebackers coach. Brian Belichick coaches the safeties. Steve had the role of defensive play-caller, Jerod Mayo ran the meetings Belichick had oversight, and Matt Patricia had a hand in creating the defensive structure. This many opinions in the room caused confusion which led to a 2-4 start after getting torched by Dallas for almost 600 yards of offense. Bill took the reigns and they had one of the league’s best defenses for a seven-game stretch.

After the bye week, he let the “brain trust” style leadership take control again. The Patriots lost four out of their last five games and couldn’t get the Bills to punt in two straight games. Now it is looking like this coordinator by committee approach is going to be on both sides of the ball. I think Bill is the greatest coach of all time but he is 70 years old and acts as HC and GM now he has to be both OC and DC. Too much on your plate, Bill.

Belichick’s “inner circle”

He brought back two guys who had failed at the next level miserably. Patricia and Judge hurt the development of their young players on the roster effectively stopping the progressions of the two franchises. No named coordinator on either side of the ball, having guys like Matt Groh (Son of Belichick friend Al Groh) move into the director of player personnel instead of a guy like Elliot Wolf.

Groh has been in the system longer but has no prior experience in that role. Wolf has had experience as DPP for the Packers. Before he came here he was the assistant general manager for the Browns. Wolf had more qualifications but my thought is that Bill knows Groh more because of his relationship with his father. To the public, it doesn’t seem like Groh has enough of a resume to be picked over Wolf.

I may be wrong about who some of these people are, but as it stands at the time of publishing, the coaching staff and front office have just as many holes as the roster does.

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