ESPN Analyst Calls Patriots Coaching Staff 'Most Alarming Thing In NFL'

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a Patriots Super Bowl parade
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Tristin McKinstry

The New England Patriots have created a machine of sustained success under head coach Bill Belichick. Every time the team seems to be taking a step back, they regroup. For instance, the Pats made the playoffs in 2021 after going 7-9 in their first year without Tom Brady.

New England will always have their doubters. This year, ESPN's Dan Orlovsky is not only a doubter but seems alarmed by what he sees happening in Foxborough.

An Offseason Of Change

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels while McDaniels was head coach of the Denver Broncos
Wikimedia | WikiOriginal-9

New England enters the 2022 season amid changes among the coaching staff. Longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was hired by the Las Vegas Raiders as their new head coach. McDaniels took three assistants to Vegas with him. Longtime running backs coach Ivan Fears retired.

We've heard from some assistants about the position groups they'd be working with recently. Matt Patricia revealed he'd be working with the offensive line, whereas Joe Judge mentioned that he would be working with the quarterbacks. However, no one revealed specific titles.

“Honestly, I just like to say I’m a football coach,” Jerod Mayo said.

Questions On Offense

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones during warmups
Wikimedia | Jeffhoffman2001

Appearing on ESPN's "Get Up," Orlovsky expressed his concerns. “I have no clue what New England is gonna do on offense, and it honestly concerns me for Mac Jones,” Orlovsky said

The former Detroit Lions signal-caller doubled down on his concern, stating, “It honestly concerns me for Mac Jones,” he explained. “This quarterback who last year was so good, and was so attached to Josh McDaniels. And now I just want to be honest: When you say the phrase, ‘It’s going to be headed by Matt Patricia and Joe Judge,’ Joe Judge, respectfully, was the coach who on 3rd and 8 last year, called a quarterback sneak.

"Put that into context. Patriots fans, look at your schedule, find me one game where you can sit there and say, ‘Our offensive staff or scheme is going to give us an advantage in that football game.’ You can’t find one,” Orlovsky finished.

A Bit Of History

Former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia
Wikimedia | Righanred

This is far from the first time Orlovsky has criticized Patricia. The most notable incident came during Patricia's final season as head coach of the Lions. Speaking in a postgame interview, the now 47-year-old said, "Certainly, I think when I came to Detroit there was a lot of work to do, and that’s what we’re trying to do."

Orlovsky disagreed with the idea that Patricia had a lot of work to do with the Lions. "First of all, we were 11-5 in 2014, and a real good football team," Orlovsky said on an ESPN morning radio show. "(In) 2015, we go 7-9, it's because we turn the football over, but the last eight games, we were 7-1, so flipped our season around. The next two years, we were 9-7, and I believe we were playing Green Bay in both years with a chance to win the division.

"To come in a say you had a lot work to do is completely false. It's a bunch of trash. Because that wasn't the case in Detroit. We were a good football team. Matthew Stafford was playing as good as he has in his career. That was because of Coach Caldwell. And we were an organization that was ascending, we were building."

Are There Titles?

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Wikimedia | Pats1

Coach Belichick has clarified that there are titles among the coaches on his staff. However, it doesn't seem like he'll reveal them any time soon. If anything, it doesn't seem like those specific titles are completely set in stone yet.

"Do we have titles? Yeah, look, there's a lot of jobs that we have to do, we're all working on those things now but - it's May,” he explained. “They'll change in June, they'll change in August, they'll change in September. So, we'll evolve it to the things timely that we need to do."

Some fans will be concerned by the lack of transparency from the coaching staff and the seemingly play-it-by-ear approach to distributing responsibility. However, some may also see the logic behind it. Instead of rushing into fitting coaches into a role they may not be cut out for, they can carve out their own roles and move from there. Only time will tell if this pays off for the Patriots.