Upgrading roster isn’t only thing Patriots need this offseason — it’s the coaching staff, too


Throughout the 2020 season, we’ve seen a lot of things from the Patriots that we aren’t used to.

And it’s beyond just the 6-9 record, it’s what’s happening in the games themselves.

How many times have we seen the Patriots defense have substituting issues where they have needed to burn timeouts because they have 10 or 12 men on the field? Same deal with either wasting a challenge on something that had no chance of being overturned, or not challenging a play that should have been. What about the maddening play-calls on some three-and-outs? And then having two fake punts get converted against them in back-to-back weeks, although last week’s was called back due to a Miami penalty.

Bill Belichick throwing the phone on the sideline in Monday’s loss to the Bills was a perfect representation of how the season has gone, not only from a players standpoint, but a coaching standpoint as well.

Now, it’s worth noting the staff has had to go through a lot between opt-outs, injuries, changing roles themselves, etc., but it just feels like they are a little overwhelmed and need to add someone with experience to help steady the ship.

Just look at who has been lost the last two offseasons — Brian Flores, Joe Judge, Dante Scarnechhia, Bret Bielema, Brendan Daly, Josh Boyer and Jerry Schuplinski. And with the exception of Jedd Fisch, no one from outside the organization with any experience has been brought in to replace them.

There were signs of it catching up to the team last year, but it really is showing up this year.

While everyone is discussing the upgrades that need to be made to the roster this offseason, the coaching staff needs a major addition as well — someone who has been around the game awhile, knows the system and can help take some of the pressure off the current staff.

For Belichick, who will turn 69 years old in April, this is shaping up to be one of the biggest offseasons of his Patriots tenure. Not only does he need to hit a home run with spending the over $70 million in cap space on free agents, but also the draft in which he will be selecting in the top half of the first round for the first time since 2008.

Belichick may be spending more time consulting with Nick Caserio that he may not be able to devote as much time to the coaching staff. And then what if Josh McDaniels departs for a head-coaching job? Belichick would then need to spend more time working with the offensive side of the ball instead of letting McDaniels run the show.

All of these factors play into why it makes a lot of sense for the Patriots to add a coach with experience to the staff this offseason, and fortunately for them there are several names who have become available.

Matt Patricia would make a lot of sense following him being fired by the Lions. He and Belichick still have a great relationship and Patricia needs to get some of his mojo back following a disastrous three seasons in Detroit.

Bill O’Brien is another interesting name, especially if McDaniels were to leave. He knows the system and may need a year or two as a coordinator before getting back into the mix as a head coach.

Another name that has come up recently is Adam Gase, if he gets fired by the Jets. He and McDaniels have been close over the years and is familiar with the system. Having him on board would be a big boost for the offensive coaching staff given his experience in the league.

With Belichick getting a year older and more pressure being on him from a personnel perspective, combined with the losses on the staff in recent years, it truly feels like veteran coach being brought in would make a world of difference for the Patriots in 2021.