New England Patriots personnel & coaching vacancies are opportunities

ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Louis Riddick (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Louis Riddick (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Bill Belichick the head coach of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots recent staff vacancies are opportunities for the team to improve, not causes for concern for the loyal fans of Patriot Nation. There’s a lot to possibly gain by bringing new people into these key positions.

Just this week, the Patriots watched their offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, and Director of Player Personnel, Dave Ziegler, head out west to join the Las Vegas Raiders. McDaniels will be the team’s new head coach, while Ziegler will be the new general manager. And that may just be the start of things too.

McDaniels was a good offensive coordinator, not a great one. His game had slipped recently after the departure of a certain No. 12, Tom Brady.

Ziegler is possibly the greater loss having had an excellent first season in 2021 guiding the Patriots’ personnel operation. Yet, the differential after spending $155M of team owner Robert Kraft’s money was only three more wins than in 2020.

That’s not earth-shattering but making the playoffs and having the best draft in recent memory were excellent portents of positive things to come from Ziegler. Now both have left.

The New England Patriots need a new beginning in personnel

Losing key executives is always difficult, especially when the people leaving have been fixtures in Foxborough for many years. Yet, it can also spell opportunity.

Talking about Ziegler, he did a nice job in his first year at the helm of the personnel operation after taking things over when Nick Caserio left to be the Houston Texans new general manager.

His performance was exemplified by a strong free agency (albeit a huge one with over $155M of Kraft’s dollars committed to those players) and a great draft.

Though he missed big on some free agents, overall, the result was a more talented team, though clearly not one with the staying power to win a division or conference.

The team staggered early, then went on a great 7-game winning streak. That blitz thrust the team to the forefront not only of the AFC East but of the American Football Conference itself.

Then, the team fell back to earth losing four of their final five games, culminating in their blowout loss to an obviously much more talented Buffalo Bills squad. The players, personnel management, and coaching staff were all responsible for this late collapse.

Yet, all of that notwithstanding, Ziegler and McDaniels have left for Las Vegas and it’s time for the team to move on. The choice here is for the Patriots should bring in new talented guys to lend fresh ideas to an operation and a team that has become stale. It’s time. Let’s take a look at who should replace both Ziegler and McDaniels, starting with an external candidate for the new general manager.