Tom Curran explains why the Patriots are changing their offense


The Patriots probably aren’t changing their offense to help out Mac Jones. It’s more about everybody else.

On “Gresh & Keefe” this week, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran said Jones proved last season he could run New England’s complex offensive scheme. But the daunting playbook was difficult for newcomers to learn, especially young receivers such as the recently drafted Tyquan Thornton.

Curran explains why Patriots are changing their offense

“I think it’s more for Mac Jones as probably a secondary beneficiary, because Mac Jones could most likely do, eventually, what Tom Brady did — or 50 percent to 60 percent to 70 percent of what Tom Brady did,” said Curran.

So far, the transition hasn’t gone smoothly. Jones expressed frustration at his performance earlier this week, telling reporters he was “getting his feet wet” in the “new offense.”

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As Curran explains in a subsequent piece, Brady picked up the same Erhardt/Perkins offense that Drew Bledsoe was running when he started for the Patriots, and kept adding new wrinkles and complexities over his 20-year career. Josh McDaniels was there for many of those seasons, and possessed an intimate knowledge of the playbook, too.

With McDaniels gone, Bill Belichick probably figured this was the perfect time to introduce new concepts based off the Shanahan/McVay principles. Most of New England’s pass-catchers — Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith — only have one year of experience here. As we know, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge are completely new to the offensive side of the ball.

Now, everybody is starting from the same base. Newcomers are no longer at a profound disadvantage.

“it’s still friggin’ complicated for N’Keal Harry,” said Curran. “And if Tyquan Thornton is going to be a player, make it simple for him. The guy is built like a popsicle stick. How can you make it so Tyquan Thornton can have immediate benefits?”

The Patriots apparently have their answer. The question is, will Jones eventually benefit, too?