With the Patriots’ season right around the corner, Matt Patricia appears to be leaving behind his past as a defensive coordinator, instead now focusing his attention on the offensive side of the ball.

The question up in the air is who will be calling plays this season, and Patricia has emerged as an ”early favorite.”

During the two days of mandatory minicamp, Patricia spent the majority of his time focused on the offense.

Veteran safety Devin McCourty played under Patricia for years during his first stint with the team. But even as the coach switches sides, McCourty still has a lot of respect for Patricia and is happy to have him back with the Patriots.

“I think at the end of the day, he’s just a really good coach,” McCourty said. “Obviously a ton of knowledge across the board and I think even being in Detroit and being a head coach expands your knowledge of what you need to know from a specific teams, offense, defense, the morale of the team. Like, everything you’d have to do to be a head coach, I think he now adds that.”

Patricia left the Patriots in 2017 and took the position as coach of the Detroit Lions, but was fired three seasons later. He has returned along with Joe Judge, who coached in New England from 2012-2019 before leaving to become coach of the New York Giants.

Advertisement

“You have two guys that have kind of seen the full gamut of what you need from a whole team aspect,” McCourty said. “It’s been fun just competing against the offense, talking trash to Matty P now that he’s on the other side.”

Due to the weather on Thursday, Bill Belichick canceled the last day of mandatory minicamp. Later in the day the Patriots announced that the two OTA sessions for next week were also canceled. The team will not reconvene until training camp in late July.

AS BELICHICK has patrolled the Patriots’ practice fields this spring, most of his time has been spent with the offense.

That’s a departure from years past — Belichick is one of the most revered defensive minds in football history — but with Josh McDaniels jetting to Las Vegas, there’s a need on the offensive side of the ball, and Belichick has been actively lending a hand. At Tuesday’s minicamp, the 70-year-old coach actually got down and snapped for quarterback Mac Jones in one drill.

It’s certainly been a change, but one that Jones believes is already paying dividends for the offense.

“He’s very hands-on. Last year he was more with the defense and stuff, but now it’s like ‘OK, let me show you this.’ He’s coaching us and coaching the running backs in that drill (he was snapping in) about the way they need to get through the line of scrimmage. He’s very hands-on,” Jones reiterated on a Thursday afternoon conference call. “I feel like we’ve made a lot of growth together as an offensive unit with him, then obviously personally with him, and as a quarterback group. We’re all on the same page.

Advertisement

“He’s seen the most amount of football of any of our coaches. He’s seen defense, offense and special teams. So having his input is always going to be very beneficial to me because he knows what puts stress on the defense. And now with him being very hands-on, he knows how we can stress a defense and how it’s going to play into our hand.”

ENTERING HIS fourth year with the Patriots, Jakobi Meyers explained that he would, without a doubt, stay with the team long-term if offered.

“Definitely,” Meyers said when asked about whether he would want to stay in New England long-term. “I mean, like, who wouldn’t?”

The 25-year-old receiver is currently a restricted free agent after playing the final year of his rookie contract in 2021. The Patriots placed a second-round tender on Meyers this offseason. However, Meyers has yet to sign it.

When asked why he hasn’t signed, Meyers explained his struggles with multitasking.

“So once I got here, I talked to my agent and I was just like, whatever you got to do,” Meyers said. “That’s why (my agent) gets paid the big bucks and I’m going to try to do what I do best. So, I kind of put it all on his plate, just trusting him, trusting the coaches, trusting the front office.”

Advertisement

Meyers said his main focus has been on the changes this year, dealing with new coaches and a change in terminology. But as the regular season approaches, he expects to be on the field in a Patriots jersey.

Meyers said his time with the Patriots has helped him grow as a person and a player, attributing his growth to the atmosphere in the locker room and his relationship with his teammates.

“I’ve learned more about being a man just from them,” Meyers said. “It’s just been great to be around those guys. A great city to be in. So, I’m happy here.”

Meyers recognizes that this is out of his control, but he looks to get healthy and work hard on and off the field. Meyers was spotted heading to a side field during this week’s minicamp session. However, the receiver said it was to deal with standard “bumps and bruises.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.