Jedd Fisch: The wild card in the Patriots' post-Tom Brady offense


Who is Jedd Fisch?

The simple answer is that he’s one of the newest members of Bill Belichick’s Patriots coaching staff, expected to be named quarterbacks coach whenever New England eventually gets around to actually acknowledging coaching personnel changes and role alterations heading into the 2020 season.

But it’s not nearly that simple.

In many ways, Fisch could in fact be the wild card voice in the new-look New England offense as it evolves in its first season without Tom Brady under center. Fisch might be the man most directly related to whether Jarrett Stidham finds relative success or failure early in his playing career.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels freely admits that New England has been essentially running the same basic scheme for two decades, since he began learning the system as a personnel assistant at the knee of then-coordinator Charlie Weis back in 2001.

Sure there have been minor evolutions to the scheme and play-calling over the years – including when McDaniels left town to become Broncos head coach (2009-10) and Rams OC (2011) – mostly due to specific yearly personnel and league-wide rules changes/trends.

But for the most part the Patriots offense has been the Patriots offense. With Weis calling plays. With McDaniels leading the show. Even with Bill O’Brien guiding it to a Super Bowl.

Because at the center of it all was Brady, the GOAT of pre-snap reads, accuracy, efficiency and decision-making. It was without a doubt an offense built for and around Brady.

“Over the last two decades, everything we did, every single decision we made in terms of major planning, was made with the idea of how to make things best for Tom Brady,” Belichick acknowledged in April.

Not anymore. It’s a brave new world for the New England offense, one likely led by the second-year former fourth-round pick out of Auburn Stidham.

“Each quarterback has a different skillset, and whatever things that particular player does well, we’ll try to work towards and feature, or at least give him an opportunity to do those,” Belichick added prior to the Draft.

That’s where Fisch comes in.

Though he never played college or even high school football and reportedly attended the University of Florida with the sole intention of wanting to work for legendary coach Steve Spurrier, Fisch brings a long, impressive coaching resume with him to New England, most of it on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two years, Fisch worked as an offensive assistant/assistant offensive coordinator for Sean McVay’s trendy Rams. Before that were stints in the college game at UCLA (2017) and Michigan (2015-16). He was the offensive coordinator with the Jaguars in 2013-14.

Along the way Fisch worked for guys like Spurrier, Dom Capers, Brian Billick, Mike Shanahan, Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh and McVay.

Fisch is certainly an intriguing offensive mind who’s had the chance learn from some pretty impressive mentors. He’s also been part of a wide variety of offensive schemes, including many with college roots and option principles.

Just the kinds of things that might be appealing to a post-Brady Patriots team with a young, athletic quarterback who was once considered one of the best dual-threat players in the country coming out of high school.

“Jedd brings a wealth of knowledge with a variety of different systems, specifically from the quarterback perspective,” said a current NFL quarterbacks coach who worked with Fisch in the past. “He also has play-calling experience at both the NFL and major college level. His in-game situational understanding was a major help for us.”

That wealth is now New England’s to cash in on at a key time for the team, the offense and its young quarterback.

Belichick is obviously still the head honcho. And McDaniels remains in place running the Patriots offense.

But Fisch’s arrival at the exact same time the team might be looking to become more modern, athletic and read-based in some areas on offense while transitioning at the quarterback position is by no means a coincidence.

Fisch is going to be very much involved in the Patriots post-Brady offense, an important new voice for a unit that could have a rather new look in 2020.

“Jedd will seamlessly fit into the Patriot way of doing business,” Fisch’s former coworker concluded.

If all goes as planned, Stidham will reap the rewards of his new position coach’s vast knowledge and skills.