The New England Patriots coaching staff has seen a lot of turnover in recent years, and 2022 has been no different in that regard.
Longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left Foxboro to take over as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler went with McDaniels to become the Raiders’ general manager.
The Patriots, at least so far, haven’t officially named a new offensive coordinator to replace McDaniels. It’s possible they won’t name an OC at all, instead opting for the offense to be led by a few guys, including Joe Judge. Judge recently returned to the Patriots as an offensive assistant after a two-year stint as head coach of the New York Giants.
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What’s the latest on the Patriots coaching staff, especially on offense? Here’s what Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated wrote in a story published Monday morning:
“As it is, Judge is expected to work with quarterbacks and Patricia with the line, and each will do that without much experience as an offensive coach before becoming a coach- chief over the past few years (the judge came to work with the teams special, Patricia on defense.) Which, obviously, is a roll of the dice given the critical point Mac Jones is at. (For what it’s worth, I hear the Patriots haven’t even spoken to Adam Gase about their OC opener, and things have been quiet on Bill O’Brien’s side as well.)”
Gase and O’Brien have been speculated as two potential candidates for the New England offensive coordinator position. O’Brien has a history working with the Patriots and served as the team’s OC in 2011 before leaving to become Penn State’s head coach. Gase has over a decade of experience as an offensive coach or head coach in the NFL.
It would be up to the Patriots to have a real offensive coordinator in place. The development of the 2021 first pick and franchise quarterback Mac Jones is the most important factor in the team’s future success.
If Judge ends up working with quarterbacks, it will be the first time he’s done so in the NFL (aside from his head coaching job with the Giants). His previous jobs in New England included special teams assistant, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach. Simply put, he doesn’t have a ton of experience working with offense or quarterbacks, in particular.
Doing without an offensive coordinator wouldn’t be unusual for the Patriots, though. They also don’t have an official defensive coordinator. The question is whether this approach will benefit Jones and help him achieve his full potential. At present, it is difficult to say that this would be the case. Going from McDaniels to Judge is a step forward.