Matt Patricia is an accomplished coach. He worked hard to rise through the ranks in New England starting as an offensive assistant in 2004 to become the Patriots defensive coordinator.

With Patricia calling defensive plays, the Patriots won two Super Bowls. Robert Kraft didn’t forget all that despite the coach’s struggles in 2022.

The Patriots’ owner expressed sympathy for Patricia, who coached the offensive line and called offensive plays last season. The much-maligned offense led to Bill Belichick replacing Patricia with Bill O’Brien this season and as of this week, it’s still unknown what the veteran coach’s next job will be.

“I think it’s important to try to know what you don’t know and then try to get the best people. I’m in no position to know whether going in that’s the right thing,” Kraft said when asked if he was surprised with Patricia’s role in 2022. “He’s a very good guy – very smart, an engineer, works hard.

“I think he got put in a difficult position. I think it was sort of an experiment. He worked very hard at it. In retrospect, I don’t think it was the right thing. And I feel bad for him because he is such a hard worker and he got put in a difficult position.”

Patricia came to the Patriots as an offensive coach, working as an offensive assistant in 2004 and then the assistant offensive line coach in 2005. He also coached the offensive line at Syracuse from 2001-2003, so seeing Belichick name him the Patriots offensive line coach at least he had some prior experience.


However, Patricia having to juggle his role on the offensive line along with offensive play calling was shocking. As Kraft said, in retrospect, it was a move that didn’t work. Belichick seemed to take ownership of the misstep by hiring O’Brien and veteran offensive line coach Adrian Klemm this offseason.

Belichick also removed Joe Judge as the Patriots quarterbacks coach, which O’Brien will also take over. Judge, however, is still on the Patriots’ staff and present in Phoenix at the NFL’s annual meetings.

For now, Patricia’s next job is unclear. He interviewed with the Denver Broncos for their defensive coordinator job and Coach Sean Payton said there was a chance he could join his staff in another role.

On Monday, Belichick was asked if Patricia would be working with the Patriots this year and he replied, “I’m not sure.”

BILL BELICHICK has moved past Jack Jones’ late season suspension.

The Patriots gave the cornerback a two-game ban to end his rookie year following an issue with his injury rehab, but at the NFL’s annual meetings, Belichick made it seem like water under the bridge. The coach was asked if Jones’ suspension altered the team’s ability to count on him moving forward, and replied that the issue was behind them.


“That’s over,” Belichick said. “It ended.”

Belichick was also asked about Jones’ first year as a whole, but declined to delve into specifics.

“We talk to all the players about things they need to work on and improve on and so forth. I’ll just keep that between the players and me,” Belichick said.

At the end of the season, Belichick said he saw both Jones and Jake Bailey – who had also been suspended – as part of the team’s future

THE PATRIOTS retained all seven defensive free agents, who were contributors last season and restructured Jalen Mills’ contract.

That means the Patriots are bringing back every defensive starter and backup from last year’s squad – except one.


When Devin McCourty retired this month, he became the only Patriots defensive starter from the 2022 season that won’t be back this offseason. His absence also creates a gigantic hole that could be challenging for Belichick to fill. That’s why the Patriots’ coach isn’t expected to fill McCourty’s spot with just one person.

“I don’t think you’re going to replace Devin McCourty with one player,” Belichick said.

THE BROTHER of late former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested Thursday after throwing a brick at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

TMZ reported that D.J. Hernandez was charged with of breach of peace, a second-degree misdemeanor. He was released from jail on a “promise to appear” in court on April 6.

Aaron Hernandez, who died by suicide in 2017, was convicted in 2015 of murdering Odin Lloyd in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, in 2013. The trial and aftermath garnered national attention, including ESPN.

According to reports, an ESPN security guard notified an arresting officer that a man was dropped off by an Uber. That man threw a bag – holding a brick and handwritten note – in the direction of one of the buildings.

“To all media outlets,” the note read, “it’s about time you all realeyes (sic) the affect (sic) media has on all family members. Since you’re a world wide leader maybe you could lead how media and messages are delivered brick by brick. Clean it up! Yours truly, Dennis J. Hernandez.”

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