“I love coach, but he f---ed us,” said a source.
That’s the money, movie-poster quote in the Boston Herald’s expose this week on the dysfunction inside Gillette Stadium this dismally disappointing season in New England that saw Bill Belichick’s decision to put Matt Patricia and Joe Judge in charge of Mac Jones and the Patriots offense undermine an entire year for an entire team.
And as Belichick himself proclaimed to the Boston Globe prior to the doomed 2022 season even officially kicking off, on the GOAT coach’s shoulders is where all the F-ing blame belongs.
Sure, Patricia and Judge were the faces of failure in Foxborough, but they were simply doing the jobs they were unprepared and incapable of performing despite the assignment from their Do Your Job boss.
One thing that the Herald report should do, with all its sourced quotes adding detail and depth to the dysfunction we all saw on the surface of the practice and game fields, is further shield the young Pro Bowl Patriots quarterback Jones from any criticisms tossed his way like a 50/50 deep ball that was the fruitless foundation of New England’s early-season offense.
Call it justification. Or vindication. Maybe even validation.
But there is no way an objective reader of sane mind and manners can digest the Herald’s breakdown of the breakdown of the Patriots’ offense this season and still point the most critical of fingers at No. 10.
From Day 1 in the spring straight through the final snap of the season finale in Buffalo, Jones wasn’t fighting a fair NFL fight. Neither he nor the rest of the offense had the kind of coaching, tools or foundational scheme to compete. Hell, it actually makes New England’s 8-9 record and the fact that the team with limited weapons and even more limited playbook was in the playoff hunt until the final 30 minutes of the 18-week season even more remarkable. Thank you defense and thank you overmatched opposing backup QBs!
As the guy facing the music, the questions and the opposing defenses each week, Jones was the man often having to answer for the offensive ineptitude. He endlessly praised the “open conversation” of the offense. He hyped up the knowledge and experience of Patricia and Judge that he full well knew they didn’t actually bring to the table.
Jones did his best to be a team player and a company man despite the fact that what Patriots owner Robert Kraft described in March as his quarterback’s “big year, the second year” was being torpedoed by the coaching he was and wasn’t receiving.
A young passer whose future and developmental potential seemed so bright while working with Josh McDaniels, an early track that would put him on course for a quarter-billion dollar contract, was derailed working with Judge and Patricia. All on Belichick’s watch.
Jones didn’t blow his fuse a few times for all eyes and cameras to see until well into the season. He didn’t become “why?” guy until well into a summer in which we supposed and now know his coaches didn’t have any tangible answers. If anything, the Herald story and its damning quotes reveal that Jones showed more poise and restraint than many likely would have.
No, Jones is not a sure-fire franchise QB in the MVP mold of Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow or Josh Allen at this point. He doesn’t have the physical tools or gifts that those guys have. With competent, stabilizing coaching of longtime offensive mind Bill O’Brien now in place in New England this will indeed in many ways be a make-or-break season for Jones. That’s assuming that Belichick, Patricia and Judge didn’t already break the young passer with all that went on in 2022.
But anyone who still thinks Jones was the biggest Patriots’ problem last season, that the quarterback was the guy most to blame for the worst New England offense in decades, just isn’t paying attention to the facts of the unprecedented and hopeless season that was.
Judge didn’t really F the Patriots this season.
Nor did Patricia.
And certainly Jones didn’t F New England.
As the source told the Herald, Belichick F---ed the Patriots in 2022. He asked for the blame and he, not Judge, Patricia and most definitely not Jones, should get it.
Thanks to MacFarlane Energy where they offer the most dependable home heating oil delivery and HVAC service including Lennox heating and cooling systems. Visit MacFarlaneEnergy.com for more.