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
Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Texas Longhorns (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots new Offensive Coordinator candidate: Steve Sarkisian

Losing McDaniels takes away two things first and foremost; continuity and familiarity. He knew the offensive system inside and out due to having run it for 13 years.

Yet, McDaniels showed three less than satisfactory traits that were illuminated, especially during the two post-Tom Brady years, when he didn’t have that all-time best safety valve employable to bail him and the team out.

First, McDaniels’ play-calling was suspect. A glaring example was his constantly trying to run Cam Newton in 2020 when everyone in the stadium knew that play was forthcoming.

In addition, McDaniels proved that he was not skilled in running an RPO offense. That lack was exhibited both with Newton, the prototypical RPO quarterback, and with their excellent rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, last season.

Jones is very familiar and quite comfortable in an RPO-style offense (note his Alabama roots) and less facile in operating from under center. Yet, McDaniels persisted in using him under center with serious negative ramifications.

If there was a back deployed, it would almost certainly broadcast run. Then, if they did try to pass off that formation, Jones most of the time had little time to pass. He’s much more comfortable running an RPO offense from which the QB can hand-off, pass, or run himself. And he can run.

Lastly, McDaniels didn’t use play-action, misdirection, or other tactics near enough to confuse defenses and gain a slight edge, maybe even a second or even a half-second from play-to-play. The vanilla offense he ran was altogether too predictable.

A new Offensive Coordinator should be one for whom befuddling and confusing a defense on virtually every play is a top attribute. Steve Sarkisian, the University of Texas Head Coach who coached Jones at Alabama in 2020, may be just the guy.

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The losses of Ziegler and McDaniels should both be looked upon as opportunities to improve and progress, and not remain stagnant in the front office and in their offensive approach.

Whether Belichick acknowledges this or will just rely on his old ways (which is far more likely) remains to be seen.

These decisions may just determine whether the New England Patriots remain just a good team or progress once more into a great one, and how soon.