Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Mac Jones not a lock to play against Steelers in Week 2?

Mac Jones looks on

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 season got off to a rough start for the New England Patriots when they were dominated by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and there is a chance they could be without their quarterback in Week 2.

Jones appeared to suffer a back injury at some point during his team’s 20-7 loss to the Dolphins. He did not speak with the media afterward. He has since undergone tests which revealed no structural damage, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media. While Rapoport said the tests were a “very positive outcome,” he did not rule out Jones missing next Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If Jones does have to miss a game, veteran backup Brian Hoyer would likely start in his place.

Jones went 21/30 for 213 yards with a touchdown and an interception against Miami. The Patriots struggled on offense, though that was not a surprise given how they looked during the preseason.

Tua Tagovailoa accomplished rare feat against Patriots

Tua Tagovailoa celebrates a play

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts after running with the football for a first down against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins once again got the best of the New England Patriots on Sunday, and Tua Tagovailoa accomplished a rare feat with the win.

Tagovailoa is now 4-0 in his career against Bill Belichick. He is the first quarterback ever to win his first four starts against Belichick since the coach was hired by the New England Patriots. The only other quarterback to do it is John Elway, but that was when Belichick was with the Cleveland Browns.

Tagovailoa was made aware of the accomplishment after Miami’s 20-7 win. He quickly downplayed it.

“That’s not an individual accolade or I don’t even look at it as close to being that,” the former Alabama star said, per Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a team sport. This team has won four straight against New England. However way you see it, however way you put it, that’s what it is.”

Of course, all four of Tagovailoa’s wins against the Patriots have also come in the post-Tom Brady era. His record against Belichick probably says more about the way New England has struggled since losing Brady, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Tagovailoa completed 23-of-33 passes for 207 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against New England. He did not exactly look like the dominant quarterback one of his teammates promises he will be, but he played well enough to help his team win an important divisional game. That has now become a theme for Tua each time he faces the Patriots.

Dolphins fans! It’s time to roll in a new era in Miami. This Roll Fins shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Patriots’ Week 1 offensive play-caller reportedly revealed

Mac Jones looks on

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of talk over the past several months about who will call plays for the New England Patriots in the post-Josh McDaniels era, and we now know who is getting the first shot at the job.

Matt Patricia will be the offensive play-caller for the Patriots for their game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Bill Belichick is expected to have a “heavy influence” on what the offense does as well.

Patricia’s official titles with the Patriots are senior football advisor and offensive line coach. He was the team’s defensive coordinator from 2012-2017 before he left to become the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Many have been skeptical of Patricia’s ability to lead an offense, but Belichick seems to have faith in him.

Mac Jones and the Patriots have not looked good in the weeks leading up to the season. None of that will matter if they move the ball and put up points against Miami, but one recent report claimed Belichick could make a major change early in the season if things don’t go well.

Patriots could make major change early in season?

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are entering the 2022 season surrounded by doubts about their new offense, and one reporter who covers the team hinted that the scheme could be scrapped early on.

Chad Graff and Ted Nguyen of The Athletic published an in-depth look at the problems the Patriots have on offense during the offseason and how they might be able to remedy them. New England has switched to a wide zone scheme, which is effective around the NFL when run properly. It was ineffective for the Patriots during their preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders and the joint practices leading up to it, however.

As Graff notes, the Patriots attempted four outside zone rushes with their starting offensive line against the Raiders. They ended up with net negative yardage. Matt Patricia, a former Patriots defensive coordinator who was brought back this year to help coach the offense, essentially said the Pats were seeing what works and would not have run some of those plays against the defensive fronts they saw if it were a regular season game. In any case, New England’s new offense has looked terrible for weeks now.

“Still, the results from the preseason match what we saw in training camp. It has gone so poorly that there are questions about whether the Patriots might scrap this new scheme if it doesn’t find success early in the season,” Graff wrote.

Patricia acknowledged after the Raiders game that the Patriots will “modify and adjust as needed.” The big question is how drastic that adjustment might be if things go as poorly as many have anticipated they will.

Perhaps the Patriots will prove everyone wrong. Mac Jones is said to be working extremely hard heading into his second NFL season, though there was at least one troubling assessment of him recently. If New England is unable to move the ball and score in their season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, there will be more than a few people ready to press the panic button.

Patriots reuniting with 3-time Super Bowl champion

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick is getting one of his old company men back.

Field Yates of ESPN reported Thursday that the New England Patriots are signing veteran offensive lineman Marcus Cannon to their practice squad. Cannon had worked out for the team earlier in the day on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Cannon has an extensive history with the Patriots. He already played nine seasons with them from 2011 to 2019 and won three total Super Bowls (XLIX, LI, and LIII). Cannon was an All-Pro in New England in 2016 as well before later being traded to Houston in 2021.

With the ability to play right tackle (primarily) or right guard, Cannon is a nice depth addition for Belichick’s side. He may also feel that he has some unfinished business to take care of in New England.

Patriots adding another potential weapon for Mac Jones

Mac Jones looks on

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones could be getting another fellow ex-first round pick to throw to next season.

Field Yates of ESPN reported on Monday that the New England Patriots are adding wide receiver Laquon Treadwell to their practice squad. Treadwell had recently worked out for the team after being released by Jacksonville.

After going in the first round (23rd overall) to Minnesota in the 2016 draft, Treadwell failed to live up to the hype over his first several seasons and was cut by the Vikings in 2019. But he was surprisingly productive last year for the Jaguars, catching 31 passes for 405 yards in just the last seven weeks of the season.

Though the Patriots are hardly a murderer’s row at wideout, they did bring in DeVante Parker this offseason to go with Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne. Treadwell will have a chance to crack the depth chart as well and becomes the latest ex-Jaguars receiver to land with a new team.

Troy Aikman has flattering comparison for Mac Jones

Troy Aikman talking

Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There have been some concerns surrounding Mac Jones and the New England Patriots’ offense heading into the season, but one Hall of Fame quarterback seems confident that they will eventually straighten things out.

Troy Aikman, who is entering his first season as the color analyst for “Monday Night Football,” spoke with ESPN’s Mike Reiss about Jones. The three-time Super Bowl champion said he is not surprised by the reports that New England’s offense is struggling in the post-Josh McDaniels era. However, Aikman said he has gotten a chance to spend time with Jones and had a flattering — if not popular — comparison for the former Alabama star.

“I like Mac Jones; I really do. I think he possesses everything you need to win in the NFL,” Aikman said. “He’s a lot like Tom [Brady] that way, which has not been a surprise as to why he ended up in New England.”

Aikman also spoke about how difficult it is to find a good offensive coordinator. A lot of people have questioned Bill Belichick’s approach now that McDaniels is gone. Matt Patricia, who made a name for himself as a defensive coordinator under Belichick, is expected to call plays. Former New York Giants head coach and Patriots special teams coordinator Joe Judge has also been involved.

“I had a chance to play for a couple of the best who have done it [Ernie Zampese, Norv Turner]. Man, when you get that playcaller, and they’re in sync with the quarterback, it’s like being in step with a dance partner. It’s the greatest feeling in the world,” Aikman added. “So I do think they’re going to miss Josh. Maybe they already do. But if anyone can overcome that, obviously it’s Bill. He’s the best to have ever done it.”

Early in the offseason, the consensus seemed to be that Jones was working harder than ever and asserting himself heading into Year 2. He has probably done all that, but some of the recent reports about the Patriots offense have been troubling, to say the least.

Jones will turn 24 on Monday, It is unlikely that anything that happens in 2022 will define his career, but he has plenty of challenges ahead. Aikman seems to think he can overcome them.

Report: Bill Belichick had key reason for passing over Bill O’Brien

Bill Belichick with a headset

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots’ rough training camp offensively brought back questions about why coach Bill Belichick did not do more to bring former assistant Bill O’Brien back into the fold. A new report shed some light on why such an arrangement was never seriously considered.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Belichick was concerned that O’Brien would be a one-year replacement for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and that O’Brien would bolt for a head coaching position in 2023. Belichick was apparently wary of that outcome, and made little attempt to speak with Alabama coach Nick Saban about bringing O’Brien back to New England.

O’Brien, currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama, worked for Belichick from 2007 to 2011. In theory, the two sides might have been able to work something out, but Belichick is clearly fixated on a bit more continuity on his coaching staff. Previous reports suggested that the relationship between Belichick and Saban also played a role.

The Patriots have lost a number of high-profile coaches in recent years, with McDaniels leaving to take over the Las Vegas Raiders. That may be why Belichick is content to rely on an unorthodox play-calling arrangement in 2022. The long-term view is admirable, but it might harm the Patriots this season more than it helps.

Reporter shares troubling assessment of Mac Jones

Mac Jones in pads

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones 10) throws the ball during a game against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones has drawn rave reviews from teammates and the media for how hard he has worked heading into his second NFL season, but doubts are starting to build about whether all that preparation will pay off.

There have been multiple reports over the past month that the New England Patriots’ offense has not looked good during training camp. In his latest projection of the team’s 53-man roster, Chad Graff of The Athletic wrote that there is “reason to believe (Jones) isn’t fully prepared for Year 2.” Graff cited some issues that are not in Jones’ control, like inexperienced play-callers and poor performances from the offensive line and running game. However, he also said Jones has been at fault for some of the struggles.

“But it’s also not entirely fair to absolve Jones. He threw a bad interception against the Raiders that was right at a waiting linebacker,” Graff wrote. “There’s still plenty of time for Jones to turn things around and deliver a great season, but it was far from the preseason he and the team were hoping for.

Jones and the Patriots could make everyone forget about the preseason struggles if they put together a strong performance against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. That said, it is more than fair to be concerned about the direction of New England’s offense now that Josh McDaniels is gone.

There was a lot of hype about Jones emulating Tom Brady and looking jacked earlier in the summer. Most of what we have heard since has to have Patriots fans concerned.

Bill Belichick has surprising excuse for Patriots’ preseason loss

Bill Belichick with a headset

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots looked bad in their preseason finale Friday, losing 23-6 to the Las Vegas Raiders. Bill Belichick had an interesting theory as to why his team was so flat.

Belichick suggested after the game that the Patriots may have left it on the practice field during joint practices with the Raiders on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“All right, well we didn’t have a really good night tonight in any phase of the game,” Belichick said after the game, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “That’s obvious. Might have left it on the practice field on Tuesday and Wednesday. Certainly practiced a lot better than we played out there tonight.”

It’s not often that you will hear a coach suggest that their team may have actually practiced too hard. Of course, process is hugely important to Belichick, so he can deal with bad preseason showings if he thinks the practices are good enough.

The bigger issue may be that the Patriots once again looked inept on offense. That has been a trend throughout camp, and it raises worries about their bizarre playcalling setup as the regular season looms.