The Patriots better start showing results sooner rather than later

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1st & Foxborough
The Good, Bad, and Ugly of the process behind the Patriots' new offense
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Just a couple weeks into Patriots training camp, it’s fair for the greatest coach in NFL history to shrug off concerns about “results” of implementing new offensive strategies during practice. It’s practice. The season is still a month away.

But that won’t be the case for long: the bill is coming due, and Belichick will need to pay up front this season.

This week, reporters pressed him on what, by all accounts, was a horrible practice for the offense Monday. He hand-waved any pearl-clutching.

“I know you're very results oriented. I get that, but there's more than just the result of the play. It's what all 22 people are doing,” he said before Tuesday’s practice.

“If you look at the result of the play, I mean that's one thing. If you look at the 22 components of the play, 11 on each side, that's a totally different -- totally different breakdown,” he continued.

His starting quarterback Mac Jones echoed that sentiment after practice, saying, “We know what football looks like. We know what a good play looks like, and the schematics behind it. It’s not just the result, it’s the process of how it looks. It just needs to be more consistent, and we all trust in each other at the end of the day.”

Fair. A winning play in practice has never automatically equated a touchdown in a real game scenario. And as stated before, it’s still very early.

And yet it stinks a bit of that old cliché, “it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey.” Very soon, execution will matter.

Probably not Thursday, the Patriots’ first preseason game against the New York Giants, when Mac Jones and other starters will have extremely limited snaps, if any at all.

But Patriots fans can’t look at the team’s schedule and insist the real season starts in November. Because once December hits, they run through a gauntlet of potentially heavy hitters: Buffalo, Arizona, Vegas, and Cincinnati. Assuming these teams are as stacked as their rosters suggest, it’s imperative for the Patriots to hit the ground running early against the Pittsburghs and Detroits on their schedule to stand a fighting chance to see the postseason.

Belichick’s seat is cool. He’s earned the leeway for rebuilds and retooling. But bear in mind that while his mind might not be on results right now, Robert Kraft was focused on them back in March, when he answered questions about his head coach’s unusual staff structure this season.

“I know what I don’t know and I try to stay out of the way of things I don’t know. I think he’s pretty good, over 40 years of experience doing it. It doesn’t sometimes look straight line to our fans or myself, but I’m results-oriented,” he said.

So it won’t be this week, but sooner rather than later, the rebuilds and retooling will need to show results.