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Matt Patricia’s future with Patriots ‘uncertain’ after ‘dysfunctional’ season

After a messy year in New England, the future of Matt Patricia is unclear.

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Earlier this week, the New England Patriots introduced Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator, reuniting O’Brien with the franchise that got him his NFL coaching start way back in 2007.

His hiring has brought into question the futures of both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, who shared offensive duties last year, but neither claimed the “offensive coordinator” title. It was mostly Patricia—the former Detroit Lions head coach—who took on play-calling duties in 2022.

The Patriots struggled to an 8-9 season, the franchise’s second losing season in the last three years—a tremendous fall from grace after posting 19-straight winning seasons prior to that. Many blame the offense specifically, which finished the season 17th in scoring and 24th in offensive DVOA.

As early as training camp, there were plenty of signs that Patricia—who had mostly worked on the defensive side of the ball prior to his new duties in 2022—was struggling to make the transition. But a behind-the-scenes story by the Boston Herald this week highlighted just how “dysfunctional” it was all season in New England.

It’s a revealing story that breaks down how unorganized and unprepared the coaching staff was all season. At times, they didn’t seem capable of answering simple questions about the offense.

“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,” one source told the Herald. “And they’d say, ‘We’ll get to that when we get to that.’ That type of attitude got us in trouble.”

The story is particularly damning of Judge, who apparently got into regular yelling matches with quarterback Mac Jones. But Patricia was also openly criticized by people within the organization for calling too conservative of a game.

“Patricia’s cripplingly conservative play-calling reined the offense in during a 24-10 Thursday night home loss to Buffalo,” Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald wrote. “Veteran wide receiver Kendrick Bourne became the public face of frustrations, when he told reporters post-game the Patriots needed to ‘scheme up better’ and be more aggressive. Others in the locker room agreed, believing Patricia had called the game ‘scared’ to avoid getting blown out.”

During his time with the Lions, Patricia took over a 9-7 roster, ostracized some of its most talented players—a few who were then promptly traded—and proceeded to rack up a 13-29-1 record over 2.5 seasons before getting fired.

There still hasn’t been any word on the fate of Patricia and Judge in New England, but it doesn’t look good for either.

“Judge and former offensive play-caller Matt Patricia are not joining their colleagues this week at the East-West Shrine Bowl, signs of their uncertain futures with the team,” Callahan wrote.

You can read the whole exposé here.

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