OK, I am going to ask the question: Has BB lost his fastball?

cornwalls@6

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I came across this post after googling for any signs of the Krafts recognizing Bill's decline. I don't think BB has "lost it" exactly but he's more than ever set in his ways and some of the quirks that once made him great now work against him.

Signs show he's been declining over the past 5 years IMO, and when you consider how he's handled the GM role in general, it's clear that if BB was truly doing what is best for the team, he'd have always had a strong GM in place He's treated his GM responsibilities like a guy going thru the motions checking off tasks/work he hates doing. When he traded Jamie Collins to Cleveland in 2016 for a late round 2017 draft pick, I'd say he spent less than a minute considering seeking the best return for the asset. Instead he just called his pal and got it done. Same thing, though with higher stakes on the Jimmy G trade. This is a guy who has little regard for GMing, but who wont share power. What you get is subpar performance from a role that is most important for team composition. As he gets older it gets worse. He doesn't want to deal with jerks. Good for him but you can only get away with it if you have competent people in coordinator and/or assistant roles. He's still a great coach though and while that's not enough to make fans happy it will spare him from the spectacle of complete implosion in 22-23. But I doubt the Krafts will let him go on beyond next season
Care to show your work in regards to BB “hating” and having “little regard for GM-ing”? I’ve never read or heard anything like that. And it wouldn’t seem the Krafts are pulling the trigger anytime soon.

https://www.si.com/nfl/patriots/.amp/news/new-england-bill-belichick-tom-brady-mac-jones-retirement-10-years
 

Phil Plantier

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Let's say that the "Belichick is a below-average GM behind the times" people are correct.* Can we agree that he's the best coach in the league right now? Or, to be generous, top 3?

He won't accept sharing power with an independent GM. So how much sub-optimal GM performance are you willing to accept in exchange for superior coach performance? In other words, if you believe Bill the GM is the problem, what's your solution?

* I have some unformed thoughts about aging, ageism, and critiques of Belichick that I'm still organizing.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I am convinced that anyone who doesn't believe that BB is a top 3 coach in the NFL simply doesn't watch much football besides the Pats. It's hard to truly understand how fucking horrible most in game coaching is around the league unless you are super glued to your television on Sundays, as a lot of folks around here are.

To the folks that think he's been a shitty GM, because he hasn't hit a home run on every pick, I'll ask this. When Tom Brady left, what did you expect? A Super Bowl run with Cam Newton, and no weapons, or a Super Bowl run with a rookie QB in Mac Jones.

At some point, the dynasty has to end, and the debts have to be paid. BB paid those debts during the Cam Newton year, created capspace, signed free agents, and then proceeded to take a rookie QB into the playoffs the next year. Do folks believe Seattle will be competing for a SB this year after losing Wilson? How about Pittsburg without Ben? It's hard to immediately win when you lose your decades long, all time great QB. Would I love it if they went and got Deebo, or signed DK Metcalf, etc. instead of drafting Harry, you bet, but the bottom line is you do what you can, with what you got, and IMO, the Pats are ahead of schedule on this rebuild. We're just spoiled fucks.
 

lexrageorge

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I came across this post after googling for any signs of the Krafts recognizing Bill's decline. I don't think BB has "lost it" exactly but he's more than ever set in his ways and some of the quirks that once made him great now work against him.

Signs show he's been declining over the past 5 years IMO, and when you consider how he's handled the GM role in general, it's clear that if BB was truly doing what is best for the team, he'd have always had a strong GM in place He's treated his GM responsibilities like a guy going thru the motions checking off tasks/work he hates doing. When he traded Jamie Collins to Cleveland in 2016 for a late round 2017 draft pick, I'd say he spent less than a minute considering seeking the best return for the asset. Instead he just called his pal and got it done. Same thing, though with higher stakes on the Jimmy G trade. This is a guy who has little regard for GMing, but who wont share power. What you get is subpar performance from a role that is most important for team composition. As he gets older it gets worse. He doesn't want to deal with jerks. Good for him but you can only get away with it if you have competent people in coordinator and/or assistant roles. He's still a great coach though and while that's not enough to make fans happy it will spare him from the spectacle of complete implosion in 22-23. But I doubt the Krafts will let him go on beyond next season
Lol, last I checked Belichick won 2 Super Bowls after the Collins trade. And the bolded is a classic example of overvaluing your own team's players. Collins was in his contract year, and while maybe some fans saw a 2nd team All-Pro from 2015, Belichick correctly saw a guy that was more often than not winging it while his skills were in decline. And Belichick was hardly alone in that assessment, as Lombardi blasted Collins as well. And the realities of the NFL trade market are that rental players like a Collins do not net a big return in draft capital.

As for JG trade, that should be a settled argument by now except that Ben Volin wannabes keep bringing it up as some sort of disastrous trade. Jimmy G was a backup that had all of 2.5 games of real experience, and who needed a new deal. Pats also got a veteran backup QB in return, and there's indeed value in that, notwithstanding Volin's bleatings to the contrary.
 

pappymojo

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I would argue that Belichick, the coach, is so good that he really makes it hard for Belichick, the GM.

I would say last year’s team (10-7) was right in that middle class of good, if flawed, teams (Colts (9-8), Ravens (8-9), Steelers (9-7-1), Raiders (10-7), Browns (8-9), Dolphins (9-8), Chargers (9-8)) and yet we were drafting towards the bottom of that grouping (the Raiders would have drafted right behind us if both teams held on to their picks).

I think Belichick as a coach buys his team one or two extra wins each year, which in turn causes the team’s draft picks to drop a couple slots lower than expected each year.
 

NortheasternPJ

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I am convinced that anyone who doesn't believe that BB is a top 3 coach in the NFL simply doesn't watch much football besides the Pats. It's hard to truly understand how fucking horrible most in game coaching is around the league unless you are super glued to your television on Sundays, as a lot of folks around here are.

To the folks that think he's been a shitty GM, because he hasn't hit a home run on every pick, I'll ask this. When Tom Brady left, what did you expect? A Super Bowl run with Cam Newton, and no weapons, or a Super Bowl run with a rookie QB in Mac Jones.

At some point, the dynasty has to end, and the debts have to be paid. BB paid those debts during the Cam Newton year, created capspace, signed free agents, and then proceeded to take a rookie QB into the playoffs the next year. Do folks believe Seattle will be competing for a SB this year after losing Wilson? How about Pittsburg without Ben? It's hard to immediately win when you lose your decades long, all time great QB. Would I love it if they went and got Deebo, or signed DK Metcalf, etc. instead of drafting Harry, you bet, but the bottom line is you do what you can, with what you got, and IMO, the Pats are ahead of schedule on this rebuild. We're just spoiled fucks.
Couldn't agree more. These are the same arguments as "well you can't count the 2021 draft because it was a collaborative effort" or "You can't credit them with Mac Jones because he fell to them / Kraft drafted him" You can't give him credit for Stephenson because he's a RB and RB's are fungible. Plus this years draft is already an F no matter how it turns out because they were all reaches. As you said, the Harry pick fucking sucked and it's made worse by who was behind him, but that happens.

It's just Felger and Mazz type shit talk.
 

Shelterdog

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Lol, last I checked Belichick won 2 Super Bowls after the Collins trade. And the bolded is a classic example of overvaluing your own team's players. Collins was in his contract year, and while maybe some fans saw a 2nd team All-Pro from 2015, Belichick correctly saw a guy that was more often than not winging it while his skills were in decline. And Belichick was hardly alone in that assessment, as Lombardi blasted Collins as well. And the realities of the NFL trade market are that rental players like a Collins do not net a big return in draft capital.

As for JG trade, that should be a settled argument by now except that Ben Volin wannabes keep bringing it up as some sort of disastrous trade. Jimmy G was a backup that had all of 2.5 games of real experience, and who needed a new deal. Pats also got a veteran backup QB in return, and there's indeed value in that, notwithstanding Volin's bleatings to the contrary.
They won the superbowl the same year as the Collins trade! Whatever he saw in terms of chemistry, sending a message to the team, effort, etc clearly worked out pretty well.

In a handful of cases -- Gilmore Thuney Jimmy G--they held on to a good player a year too long from a trade value perspective. Those are tough calls though--do you just by default kind of trade very person before their last year on the team unless you're signing them to a long term deal? You maximize trade value that way but lose some good players in prime years.
 

Bergs

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I am convinced that anyone who doesn't believe that BB is a top 3 coach in the NFL simply doesn't watch much football besides the Pats. It's hard to truly understand how fucking horrible most in game coaching is around the league unless you are super glued to your television on Sundays, as a lot of folks around here are.

To the folks that think he's been a shitty GM, because he hasn't hit a home run on every pick, I'll ask this. When Tom Brady left, what did you expect? A Super Bowl run with Cam Newton, and no weapons, or a Super Bowl run with a rookie QB in Mac Jones.

At some point, the dynasty has to end, and the debts have to be paid. BB paid those debts during the Cam Newton year, created capspace, signed free agents, and then proceeded to take a rookie QB into the playoffs the next year. Do folks believe Seattle will be competing for a SB this year after losing Wilson? How about Pittsburg without Ben? It's hard to immediately win when you lose your decades long, all time great QB. Would I love it if they went and got Deebo, or signed DK Metcalf, etc. instead of drafting Harry, you bet, but the bottom line is you do what you can, with what you got, and IMO, the Pats are ahead of schedule on this rebuild. We're just spoiled fucks.
This is the correct answer.

I would argue that Belichick, the coach, is so good that he really makes it hard for Belichick, the GM.

I would say last year’s team (10-7) was right in that middle class of good, if flawed, teams (Colts (9-8), Ravens (8-9), Steelers (9-7-1), Raiders (10-7), Browns (8-9), Dolphins (9-8), Chargers (9-8)) and yet we were drafting towards the bottom of that grouping (the Raiders would have drafted right behind us if both teams held on to their picks).

I think Belichick as a coach buys his team one or two extra wins each year, which in turn causes the team’s draft picks to drop a couple slots lower than expected each year.
I'll take the over on the bolded, but a great point.
 

Super Nomario

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I would argue that Belichick, the coach, is so good that he really makes it hard for Belichick, the GM.

I would say last year’s team (10-7) was right in that middle class of good, if flawed, teams (Colts (9-8), Ravens (8-9), Steelers (9-7-1), Raiders (10-7), Browns (8-9), Dolphins (9-8), Chargers (9-8)) and yet we were drafting towards the bottom of that grouping (the Raiders would have drafted right behind us if both teams held on to their picks).

I think Belichick as a coach buys his team one or two extra wins each year, which in turn causes the team’s draft picks to drop a couple slots lower than expected each year.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. When Massey and Thaler studied it, they found the ROI on later draft picks is actually better than earlier ones; the difference in salary outweighs the difference in expected player quality.
 

Shelterdog

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This is not necessarily a bad thing. When Massey and Thaler studied it, they found the ROI on later draft picks is actually better than earlier ones; the difference in salary outweighs the difference in expected player quality.
Counterpoint: Bill Simmons and Mike Lombardi often discuss how many "blue chip" guys a team has and if you don't have blue chip players how can you win and if you don't have high picks how can you get "blue chip" goes?
 

hube

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I would argue that Belichick, the coach, is so good that he really makes it hard for Belichick, the GM.
Excellent, important point.

I'll make excuses for BB all day long. I think he's always been a better coach than GM, but I don't think that's a hot take. He's always done more with less - look at the track record of the last 20+ years, having late picks, getting penalized several picks, etc., and still winning. Having Brady covered up a lot for a long time.

Two seasons into the rebuild is far too soon to question whether he's lost it, especially when there's now at least one other serious contender within the division (maybe two - we'll see about MIA), and when they've already shown improvement over year 1.

This isn't late-era Shula or the Joe Gibbs comeback.

The Pats are now what every other team in the league looks like year over year. We're just spoiled.
 

BuellMiller

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This is not necessarily a bad thing. When Massey and Thaler studied it, they found the ROI on later draft picks is actually better than earlier ones; the difference in salary outweighs the difference in expected player quality.
Is that still the case though, after they changed the rookie salary scale for draft picks in the 2011 CBA?
 

Eddie Jurak

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The best critique of BB's career - and whether it is even a critique at all very much depends on point of view - is that his "coaching tree" is basically shit. Maybe McDaniels can help him get a few points on the board in round 2.
 

Shaky Walton

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The best critique of BB's career - and whether it is even a critique at all very much depends on point of view - is that his "coaching tree" is basically shit. Maybe McDaniels can help him get a few points on the board in round 2.
I could care less if coaches under Belichick succeed elsewhere. Assistant coaches in NE are useful if they are really great at assisting the HC. Whether that translates into being able to lead a team doesn't reflect on Bill's ability to win in NE or his coaching ability in general, in my view. One coach who wasn't at all shit outside NE, Brian Flores, was a pain in the ass as an adversary...here's hoping McDaniels isn't like that when the Pats play the Raiders this year.

I do find his recent trend of not having identified coordinators to be somewhat odd and arguably counter-productive. An article in the Globe (on line now) says that Mayo and Steve Belichick split the defensive coordinator position last season with Mayo running meetings and Belichick calling plays. No offensive coordinator has been named as yet and it's not hard to imagine that roles on the offensive side will be murky, too.

I get it, there are no games for months. But it seems like Bill is (or may be) trying to build a better mouse trap, and I'm not sure what really needed fixing. Is it about centralizing power or credit? I doubt that as I've always perceived Bill to be about winning and really nothing else. But it makes intuitive sense to me that it would be ideal for players on offense and defense to know who calls the shots on their side of the ball and for the lines of authority to be clear. One could answer that it all leads back to Bill anyway, but that was also true when Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel were the unquestioned coordinators while the Pats won their first three SBs.

And even if it's less important on defense given that BB shades more to that side of the ball, having a strong, somewhat independent voice on offense seems ideal, and would also free Bill up to do everything else he already does.
 

Captaincoop

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Bedard posted a (behind paywall) piece on BSJ today absolutely killing Belichick for the way they are structuring the staff this year.

I don't know, it seems to me things went pretty damn well around here in, say, 2004 when Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator (with an actual title), Josh McDaniels was the QB coach whispering in Tom Brady's ear, Dante Scarnecchia coached the line with Jeff Davidson (future longtime NFL line coach and OC), Brian Daboll was coaching the receivers and Ivan Fears dictated to the RBs.

Pretty darn good staff (don't even get me started with that defensive coaches). With titles. And experience.

You think those guys were at all concerned with other positions? Apparently Belichick himself had it all wrong for so many years having players in positions and coaches Doing Their Job coaching their own freaking positions.

If Judge was being serious, this is all ridiculous. All of it.

And this is just one aspect of this coaching ... situation. We haven't even gotten into whether Judge and Patricia can actually perform their new duties at a high level — and whether some players are already questioning where this is all going about three days in — but we will.

All of this has just started, for better or for worse.
 

cornwalls@6

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Bedard posted a (behind paywall) piece on BSJ today absolutely killing Belichick for the way they are structuring the staff this year.

I don't know, it seems to me things went pretty damn well around here in, say, 2004 when Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator (with an actual title), Josh McDaniels was the QB coach whispering in Tom Brady's ear, Dante Scarnecchia coached the line with Jeff Davidson (future longtime NFL line coach and OC), Brian Daboll was coaching the receivers and Ivan Fears dictated to the RBs.

Pretty darn good staff (don't even get me started with that defensive coaches). With titles. And experience.

You think those guys were at all concerned with other positions? Apparently Belichick himself had it all wrong for so many years having players in positions and coaches Doing Their Job coaching their own freaking positions.

If Judge was being serious, this is all ridiculous. All of it.

And this is just one aspect of this coaching ... situation. We haven't even gotten into whether Judge and Patricia can actually perform their new duties at a high level — and whether some players are already questioning where this is all going about three days in — but we will.

All of this has just started, for better or for worse.
Conveniently leaving out 2018, when they won their 6th super bowl, without a formerly titled defensive coordinator. He may or may not be right ultimately, but nobody, including him, knows a fucking thing about how this is going to be structured/plays out on May 18. If they start out 1-4 or something, that’s a relevant piece to write and publish. Before they’ve even had one official practice, it’s little more than click bait.
 

Van Everyman

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I personally think this whole coaching staff stuff is mostly ridiculous. Was it 2009 on the "A Football Life" documentary that Bill said he preferred players he liked to coach to those who had a higher talent ceiling? Even if it were more recent, I think this is the coaching version of that: Bill preferring a staff that is comprised of guys he knows and trusts over positional "experts."
 

Super Nomario

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Bedard posted a (behind paywall) piece on BSJ today absolutely killing Belichick for the way they are structuring the staff this year.

I don't know, it seems to me things went pretty damn well around here in, say, 2004 when Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator (with an actual title), Josh McDaniels was the QB coach whispering in Tom Brady's ear, Dante Scarnecchia coached the line with Jeff Davidson (future longtime NFL line coach and OC), Brian Daboll was coaching the receivers and Ivan Fears dictated to the RBs.

Pretty darn good staff (don't even get me started with that defensive coaches). With titles. And experience.

You think those guys were at all concerned with other positions? Apparently Belichick himself had it all wrong for so many years having players in positions and coaches Doing Their Job coaching their own freaking positions.

If Judge was being serious, this is all ridiculous. All of it.

And this is just one aspect of this coaching ... situation. We haven't even gotten into whether Judge and Patricia can actually perform their new duties at a high level — and whether some players are already questioning where this is all going about three days in — but we will.

All of this has just started, for better or for worse.
These guys are experienced NOW ... but other than Weis and Scarnecchia, they weren't that experienced then. McDaniels was a defensive assistant in 2003, so 2004 was his first year on O (and he was calling plays just a year later!). Fears was the WR coach, not the RB coach, through 2001, so 2004 represented only his third year as RB coach. Ditto Daboll, who was a defensive assistant initially and took over WR when Fears moved to RBs.

If anything, this is an example of how Belichick's coaching machinations do deserve the benefit of the doubt.
 

rodderick

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These guys are experienced NOW ... but other than Weis and Scarnecchia, they weren't that experienced then. McDaniels was a defensive assistant in 2003, so 2004 was his first year on O (and he was calling plays just a year later!). Fears was the WR coach, not the RB coach, through 2001, so 2004 represented only his third year as RB coach. Ditto Daboll, who was a defensive assistant initially and took over WR when Fears moved to RBs.

If anything, this is an example of how Belichick's coaching machinations do deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Promoting young guys from within into a frame of established coordinators is completely different than trying to get older coaches who never had any meaningful experience on offense to take over that side of the ball. I mean, 28 year old Josh McDaniels going from defensive assistant to QB coach with 5th year, 2 time SB MVP Tom Brady and Charlie Weiss as OC is completely different than Matt Patricia and Joe Judge coming back to be in charge of the offense with 2nd year Mac Jones.

There's a reason no one really gave a shit when they promoted guys and now everyone raised their eyebrows. And to boot, this uncertainty has never really happened on offense. In '05 and '09, the only years of the run they didn't have a named OC, everyone pretty much knew Josh and Billy O were calling the plays respectively. And I'd say the vast majority of times they didn't have a named DC, we had a pretty clear idea of who de facto filled the position as well, which is why the 2018 mention above is weird to me (we all knew it was Flores' defense and he was the one calling plays). Now we are going into our 3rd year of having really no clue who is mostly responsible for the defense and adding to that with even more uncertainty for the offense. Bill has never been one to do stuff conventionally, but the current situation is far beyond even his standards.
 

sodenj5

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Just chiming in because this parallels what Miami did with Tua in year 2.

They had George Godsey, who had OC experience in Houston with BO’B, as the “passing coordinator,” Eric Studesville as the “running game coordinator” and Charlie Frye as the “QB coach” but all three of them were involved in playcalling and relaying info to Tua.

Suffice it to say, the offense was a dumpster fire to start the year and Miami started 1-7. Flores refused to say who was responsible for calling plays and who was the voice in Tua’s helmet until eventually Godsey assumed the traditional OC role and they “streamlined” communication to the QB.

I say all of this to make the point that there is a feel and rhythm to calling plays on both offense and defense. If there isn’t one person primarily responsible for that, then you might as well be picking plays out of a hat.
 
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lexrageorge

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Not sure why it's important that either we or Greg Bedard know who is calling plays. Although, as is typical with a lengthy Bedard diatribe, it's hard to tell exactly what he is complaining about. Far more important that the players know who is calling plays, which hasn't been a problem on defense these past couple of seasons.
 

BringBackMo

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Bedard posted a (behind paywall) piece on BSJ today absolutely killing Belichick for the way they are structuring the staff this year.

I don't know, it seems to me things went pretty damn well around here in, say, 2004 when Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator (with an actual title), Josh McDaniels was the QB coach whispering in Tom Brady's ear, Dante Scarnecchia coached the line with Jeff Davidson (future longtime NFL line coach and OC), Brian Daboll was coaching the receivers and Ivan Fears dictated to the RBs.

Pretty darn good staff (don't even get me started with that defensive coaches). With titles. And experience.

You think those guys were at all concerned with other positions? Apparently Belichick himself had it all wrong for so many years having players in positions and coaches Doing Their Job coaching their own freaking positions.

If Judge was being serious, this is all ridiculous. All of it.

And this is just one aspect of this coaching ... situation. We haven't even gotten into whether Judge and Patricia can actually perform their new duties at a high level — and whether some players are already questioning where this is all going about three days in — but we will.

All of this has just started, for better or for worse.
My main takeaway after reading that is that this writer should probably talk to someone. He is having a very strong and very personal reaction to the coaching arrangements of a football team.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Just chiming in because this parallels what Miami did with Tua in year 2.

They had George Godsey, who had OC experience in Houston with BO’B, as the “passing coordinator,” Eric Studesville as the “running game coordinator” and Eric Frye as the “QB coach” but all three of them were involved in playcalling and relaying info to Tua.

Suffice it to say, the offense was a dumpster fire to start the year and Miami started 1-7. Flores refused to say who was responsible for calling plays and who was the voice in Tua’s helmet until eventually Godsey assumed the traditional OC role and they “streamlined” communication to the QB.

I say all of this to make the point that there is a feel and rhythm to calling plays on both offense and defense. If there isn’t one person primarily responsible for that, then you might as well be picking plays out of a hat.
I'm not too worried about the play calling aspect of this, in the sense that I think it is something that will be figured out before the season starts. "They are repeating a failed Miami experiment from last year" would indeed be very bad if it was true, but I doubt that it is or will be.

On the other hand, having no experienced offensive coaches in the most important offensive coaching positions AND seemingly not assigning specific coaching roles to the offensive staff is, at the very least, new. Is it bad? Not necessarily, but I can see why people would view it skeptically.

As with so much else that emanates out of Foxboro, our lack of inside knowledge makes it hard to evaluate at this point.

And we do have 2 former head coaches (if failed first-timers) on that side of the ball although neither came from an offensive background.

It is weird. How bad it is (if it is bad at al) will remain to be seen.
 

BigJimEd

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My main takeaway after reading that is that this writer should probably talk to someone. He is having a very strong and very personal reaction to the coaching arrangements of a football team.
Yeah, Bedard is becoming a bit of a caricature in the Borges mode. That blurb is so over the top, it just comes across as personal and arrogant.

I have questions if Patricia and Judge are the right choices. I think most do and that is reasonable. I also think many forget that both these guys do have some experience on the offensive side. Maybe not as much or as recent as a lot of fans would like but they are not completely new to that side of the ball. As mentioned, that's not unusual for Belichick.

As @lexrageorge said, it isn't important if fans or the media know who's calling the plays. I'd be very surprised if the staff and players don't know who's in charge of what long before the season starts.

On the defensive side of the ball, the responsibilities have been widely reported even if it they don't have official titles. Official titles don't really matter to guys like Judge and Patricia at this point. It may matter to someone like Mayo but I haven't seen any evidence he is dissatisfied.
 

tims4wins

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I have questions if Patricia and Judge are the right choices. I think most do and that is reasonable. I also think many forget that both these guys do have some experience on the offensive side. Maybe not as much or as recent as a lot of fans would like but they are not completely new to that side of the ball. As mentioned, that's not unusual for Belichick.
Fully agree, and I think you're right that a lot of fans either don't know this or forget this point. Joe Judge went to college as a QB. He mostly played special teams at Mississippi State, but it's not like offense is foreign to him.

Patricia actually started on offense with the Pats back in 2004-2005, of course that was a long time ago.
 

Jimbodandy

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Not sure why it's important that either we or Greg Bedard know who is calling plays. Although, as is typical with a lengthy Bedard diatribe, it's hard to tell exactly what he is complaining about. Far more important that the players know who is calling plays, which hasn't been a problem on defense these past couple of seasons.
It's unfortunately another example of the Felgerism of this subforum.
 

Shelterdog

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Just chiming in because this parallels what Miami did with Tua in year 2.

They had George Godsey, who had OC experience in Houston with BO’B, as the “passing coordinator,” Eric Studesville as the “running game coordinator” and Charlie Frye as the “QB coach” but all three of them were involved in playcalling and relaying info to Tua.

Suffice it to say, the offense was a dumpster fire to start the year and Miami started 1-7. Flores refused to say who was responsible for calling plays and who was the voice in Tua’s helmet until eventually Godsey assumed the traditional OC role and they “streamlined” communication to the QB.

I say all of this to make the point that there is a feel and rhythm to calling plays on both offense and defense. If there isn’t one person primarily responsible for that, then you might as well be picking plays out of a hat.
Thanks for your concern. Fortunately the Pats have BB running the whole operations so I'm pretty confident that even if things aren't clear to Bedard or the public about the organization of the team on offense that they will in fact find a way to call plays in an orderly fashion.

Also, whether they had the three stooges or the ghost of bill walsh as an offensive coordinator, the dolphins are going to suck as long as Tua is back there.
 

Ralphwiggum

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The only thing that bothers me about Bill's coaching staff is that I hate nepotism and Bill having his two sons play prominent roles on his staff raises questions that I think are fair. Are they actually deserving of the roles they have on the staff? Or does Bill have a soft spot for his sons and has elevated them beyond where they deserve? This is exacerbated by the fact that it is basically impossible for anyone to evaluate the job that assistant coaches are doing (other than the head coach). I do generally give Bill the benefit of the doubt on pretty much everything, including how he's managed that situation, but the whole setup is somewhat bothersome to me (although obviously Bill doesn't give the tiniest fuck what the fans and/or media think about how he builds his staff).

Judge and Patricia didn't exactly cover themselves in glory when they got their shot at a big job but Bill doesn't just bring anyone who leaves back, so their presence on the coaching staff and what their roles and responsibilities will be get a massive shoulder shrug from me.
 

rodderick

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Not sure why it's important that either we or Greg Bedard know who is calling plays. Although, as is typical with a lengthy Bedard diatribe, it's hard to tell exactly what he is complaining about. Far more important that the players know who is calling plays, which hasn't been a problem on defense these past couple of seasons.
How can we have any clue whether it has or hasn't been a problem on defense these past couple of seasons?
 

DavidTai

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Given the idea of spygate being that they must be watching certain coaches for 'tells', is this basically a "Well, try and figure this out if you can" to avoid certain tells from coaches giving away what plays are being executed?

Like, given how sometimes you have a fair idea that McDaniels is about to call a draw play on 3rd and long, you switch it up to a different coach with different tendencies for different matchups?

Plus, I imagine, changing up coaches' comfort zones forces them to not get ingrained into too many familiar habits.
 

Commander Shears

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Not hiring coordinators also lets the team avoid league rules for interviewing outside and minority candidates and instead bring in the same people who were already in their Rolodex.
 

Jimbodandy

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They still managed to hire Mayo, Flores among others.
I think that Bill has made it clear over the years that he doesn't feel responsible for answering people's questions about things.

"Who's calling the plays", "why did you zig instead of zag", etc. The answer to pretty much everything is "because it gave the team the best chance to win" or "well, everyone has a job, and we need everyone to do their job", yada yada.

Bill is in the "winning football games" business, not in the "informing fans and media personalities about the inner workings of the Patriots" business. Nothing has changed there.

Now there is of course some benefit to sharing some knowledge about the product with its fanbase, and Bill learned from his Cleveland days that sharing some of that information is in his and the team's best interests. He does it through a fake smile and gritted teeth, but he endeavors to clear the minimum requirements by a fucking millimeter and generally has. It will never be enough for the shithead talking heads, but he doesn't care. And if we're fans of "winning football games", then neither should we.
 

Shelterdog

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How can we have any clue whether it has or hasn't been a problem on defense these past couple of seasons?
I sort of agree with you that it's a black box to a degree and we do have limited information so it's somewhat hard to tell, although with the defense it's hard for me to think that defensive coaching confusion has been a big problem because the defense has been pretty good without having a ton of great defensive players. Now Buffalo fucking crushed them so maybe there was an isolated problem but it's hard for me to believe a generally decent defense has some significant problem with confusion about play calling.

With all this stuff t's hard to actually know. Like Bedard says Joe Judge wasn't a good wide receivers coach. Doesn't really give any more than that. Says things like "some in the building" had issues with how he did things. WTF does that mean? It's pretty clear that Bedard (or some Bedard sources) hate Patiricia and think he sucks. Does he suck? Hard to tell.
 

ShaneTrot

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The only thing that bothers me about Bill's coaching staff is that I hate nepotism and Bill having his two sons play prominent roles on his staff raises questions that I think are fair. Are they actually deserving of the roles they have on the staff? Or does Bill have a soft spot for his sons and has elevated them beyond where they deserve? This is exacerbated by the fact that it is basically impossible for anyone to evaluate the job that assistant coaches are doing (other than the head coach). I do generally give Bill the benefit of the doubt on pretty much everything, including how he's managed that situation, but the whole setup is somewhat bothersome to me (although obviously Bill doesn't give the tiniest fuck what the fans and/or media think about how he builds his staff).

Judge and Patricia didn't exactly cover themselves in glory when they got their shot at a big job but Bill doesn't just bring anyone who leaves back, so their presence on the coaching staff and what their roles and responsibilities will be get a massive shoulder shrug from me.
I am torn here because I hate nepotism as well but there is this side of it that BB's boys grew up in a very potent football environment and were exposed to it all their lives. Kyle Shanahan is a brilliant offensive mind and he runs a derivative of his father's offense. Then there is Andy Reid's kid who basically was a drunk and maimed a kid while he was on the KC staff. I suspect part of his hiring his kids is they will toe his line and be loyal.

As for the offensive coaching staff, these are pretty smart guys. I think they will figure it out, I also wonder if not having Josh will allow for some growth beyond the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system that they have run for 20 years. Mac was pretty slick running RPOs at Alabama. Will they incorporate these concepts?
 

Harry Hooper

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I am not getting the tenor of most of these recent comments.

Joe Judge was the WR coach along with being Special Teams coach in his last year before heading to the Giants. That did not go well. It doesn't mean it won't work out now, but there are grounds to be very dubious.

We have had a couple of seasons of semi-chaos with the defense with 10 men or 12 men on the field, guys running on the field late, burning timeouts, more guys not carrying out their assignment than typical for the Pats, and other fun stuff. There have been complaints percolating out of Foxboro about no one voice to be accountable to on D. Again, it doesn't mean it won't work out now, but there are grounds to be very dubious.
 

BusRaker

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If a defensive coach has an idea for a great play against an opponents defense, or an offense coach knows how you can stop an opponents offensive tendencies, would you really want to make them anonymously write it on a peace of paper and put it in the suggestion box? I like the idea of coaches playing on both sides of the ball, knights of the round table style with BB as King Arthur.
 

lexrageorge

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Above seems pretty reasonable. Maybe he had Bill over for some, got him drunk and got the "untitled offensive coordinator" position as a result. Win-win-win all around.
 

djbayko

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I am torn here because I hate nepotism as well but there is this side of it that BB's boys grew up in a very potent football environment and were exposed to it all their lives. Kyle Shanahan is a brilliant offensive mind and he runs a derivative of his father's offense. Then there is Andy Reid's kid who basically was a drunk and maimed a kid while he was on the KC staff. I suspect part of his hiring his kids is they will toe his line and be loyal.

As for the offensive coaching staff, these are pretty smart guys. I think they will figure it out, I also wonder if not having Josh will allow for some growth beyond the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system that they have run for 20 years. Mac was pretty slick running RPOs at Alabama. Will they incorporate these concepts?
Here's the thing. Just about everyone you know is going to give their sons/daughters a chance to follow in their footsteps if they have that power and their children show interest and put in the effort. It's fine to say you don't like nepotism, but that's just the way it works. We could have no nepotism and no Lombardis, but I'll take that trade. I also trust Bill to know his sons' strengths and weaknesses and not put them in a position to fail (without his full support). Maybe I'm wrong there, but Bill has more than earned the benefit of doubt in my mind.
 

EL Jeffe

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I find the consternation over the coaching, particularly vis a vis Judge and Patricia to be really weird. It's truly fellowship of the miserable stuff. I mean, look at the two favorite OCs in the history of NE football: St. Charlie and St. Josh, hallowed be thy names. Look at their paths to OC, and then what they did outside of NE. And then compare them to Judge and Patricia and explain to me why Judge and Patricia are problems.

In Charlie's first stint in NE, he went from coaching TEs, to RBs, to WRs. But how in the wide, wide world of sports could a coach ever possibly learn to coach multiple positional groups? Is that even possible? My gosh, it must be! Charlie came back to NE as an OC and the team won some Super Bowls, And then Charlie left NE, had a good year at Notre Dame with Brady Quinn, and the rest of his coaching career was an abject failure. Like he was absolutely awful. Did he forget how to coach? Is there some sort of weird year to year variance in his ability to coach? Or was he just a successful coach when he had good players to coach and an unsuccessful coach when he had lousy players?

St. Josh was an assistant DB coach in NE for a season and then became the QB coach at age 28. That's right, a 28 year old who'd never coached offensive football was put in charge of being Brady's positional coach in 2004. The f*cking horror of it all, right? I can only imagine what Twitter and the podcasts would have been like in 2004. Bill is RUINING Tom Brady's career! The hubris of it all! And of course it worked out fine. And Josh was successful when the team was good. And Josh was an abject failure with the Broncos and Rams when the players sucked. Did Josh forget how to call plays or something? Or does having sh*tty players make for sh*tty results? (I'm going with yes, btw)

People put waaaay too much into positional coaching like it's some sort of big mystery. The reason why coaches like Weis and McDaniels can move from position group to position group is because, like all coaches at the NFL level, they understand football. If you're good enough to coach an NFL positional group, you can pretty much coach any positional group. All of these guys know all the fundamentals. They all know how to watch tape. They all know the system frontwards and backwards. It comes down to how well they can communicate and teach.

Judge and Patricia worked their way up from assistants in NE to having greater responsibility. Clearly Bill was pleased with their coaching, communication, and teaching. Clearly they understand football. And clearly Bill wanted them back. There isn't some weird barrier that's going to prevent Judge and Patricia from coaching QBs, OL, or installing a game plan. They understand how to coach. They know the system. They know the positional fundamentals. They also have pretty good players to coach. There's zero reason to expect them to fail. If you expect them to fail, I'd love to know why. Yes, Judge and Patricia were unsuccessful head coaches; they also had really sh*tty rosters. But being a HC is much different from being a positional coach or calling plays. They were successful assistants in the past; there;s zero reason to believe they won't be successful assistants again with good players to coach.

Greg Bedard is a hack and a piece of sh*t who is making a buck on grievance media. There's a subset of the population who thrives on negativity, and Bedard knows he can capitalize on it. Borges, Shank, Bedard - all these assh*les are peddling negativity content for people who are predispositioned to be outraged by things that don't matter. /fin
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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My main takeaway after reading that is that this writer should probably talk to someone. He is having a very strong and very personal reaction to the coaching arrangements of a football team.
Not to mention the insinuations that the players are mutinying....in May?

I mean, there are legitimate questions as to how the coaching responsibilities will shake out. But Bedard is completely off the deep end here. I guess he saw the Borges-sized gap in the "jackass who covers the Pats" scene here and decided to leap into it.