FOXBORO, Massachusetts — After a season in which the New England Patriots fell to the bottom of the league standings in several key offensive categories, the club announced Thursday that it will begin interviewing candidates next week for the offensive coordinator position.
That confirms that head coach Bill Belichick, who is set to enter his 24th season, is moving away from the structure he implemented in 2022 that he hasn’t named an official coordinator.
Matt Patricia and Joe Judge filled lead roles on the offensive team, with Patricia being called up in plays to second-year quarterback Mac Jones. Patricia’s official title was Football Adviser/Offensive Line, and Judge’s title was Offensive Assistant/Quarterbacks.
The moves were considered unconventional by many, with Patricia’s primary background as an upcoming NFL coach on defense, and Judge’s on special teams. Belichick had shared his belief that a good coach transcends any position, though after the team’s 8-9 season, he acknowledged the need for better results across the board.
This was especially the case on offense, as the Patriots fell significantly in several key categories from 2021 to 2022 following the departure of Josh McDaniels to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Some of those areas included:
Red Zone Efficiency: 11th (39 TDs in 63 flights) to 32nd (19 TDs in 45 flights)
Third down: 10th (43.5%) to 27th (34.8%)
First defeats: Tied 9 (362) to 28 (288)
bags: 8th (28th for 241 yards) to 19th (41st for 279 yards)
Landing record: 48 to 31
With Belichick set to meet offensive coordinator candidates, it opens up the possibility of Patricia and Judge — who have each won three Super Bowls as Patriots assistants and whom Belichick respects — filling other roles on the staff.
Former Patriots offensive quarterbacks coach/coordinator Bill O’Brien (2009-11), whose two-year contract with the University of Alabama OC expires, is among the many candidates expected to be considered by Belichick.
In addition to the Patriots’ search for an offensive coordinator, the club also announced Thursday that it has “begun contract extension discussions with… [inside linebackers coach] Jerrod Mayo would keep him with the team for the long term.”
Mayo played eight seasons for the team (2008-15) and just concluded his fourth season as an assistant. He’s received interest from other teams for head coaching positions, most recently with the Carolina Panthers asking to interview him, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Cleveland Browns also requested an interview with May regarding the vacant defensive coordinator position this week, sources told Schefter.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”