FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quick thoughts and notes all around the New England Patriots and the NFL:
1. RG III assumes: One of the more compelling storylines of the NFL in 2022 will be how quarterback Mac Jones is influenced by the Patriots’ revamped coaching staff.
Bill Belichick hasn’t named a coordinator or playcaller to fill Josh McDaniels’ void. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, who served primarily on defense and special teams during their NFL careers, took offense leadership roles in spring practice. Belichick was usually around, too.
Some analysts have raised concerns it could stunt Jones’ growth in his second season when players often make their biggest jump. But don’t put former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III in that category.
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“The coaching setup will have a massive impact on Mac Jones in a positive way,” said Griffin, an ESPN analyst. “Mac has already talked about how it was a collaborative process, with coaches and players talking in meetings and installing the offense. And I think that will lead to him taking more responsibility for what’s called and how he views the game.”
Few dispute the excellence of McDaniels. Belichick compared him to Alabama coach Nick Saban last season, which is a compliment he can’t give. McDaniels appears to have played a significant role in Jones’ development as a rookie.
At the same time, after kick-off, the game is largely in the hands of the players.
With that in mind, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow — in a stellar sophomore season in 2021 — helped bolster coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.
Likewise, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert — with a new coach (Brandon Staley) and offensive coordinator (Joe Lombardi) in his sophomore season — had Los Angeles on the cusp of the playoffs in 2021.
For his part, Griffin sees championship potential in Jones and selects him over Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars), Zach Wilson (Jets), Justin Fields (Bears) and Davis Mills (Texans) as the Class of 2021 quarterback who played significant snaps as a rookie who most likely wins a ring first. Griffin put Trey Lance (49ers) in the wildcard category because he was mostly on the bench as a rookie.
Mac Jones MAXIMUM CHANCE to win a ring FIRST among the rookie QBs who played seriously last year. Bill Belichick and the @Patriots are defensive masterminds coaching other teams and Mac Attack will continue to expand the field after putting his faith in ROLL TIDE LEVELS last year.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 5, 2022
Griffin also highlighted another aspect of the Patriots’ coaching change that could help Jones.
“If you don’t know who the coordinator is, the scheme or the tendencies, it becomes more difficult to create a game plan towards the beginning of the year,” he said. “That will allow this unconventional staff to gain a foothold early in the year. Advantage Patriots.”
2. JMac’s setting: Former Patriots defenseman Jason McCourty sees it differently than Griffin.
“You’ll never hear anyone [on the team] don’t say anything in the media… but it’s definitely going to be a big deal. It has to be,” McCourty said during his recent guest appearance on NFL Network’s ‘Good Morning Football’ show ‘Plays This Week’?”
3. Wise’s Gift: Deatrich Wise Jr., Patriots defensive lineman in his sixth year, already knows what he’s getting for his 28th birthday this month: a grueling fitness test. Wise’s birthday is July 26, the day the veterans report for training camp.
“I’ve gotten used to it now. I feel like every year since college it’s been right before my birthday,” he said.
The Arkansas alum has been a regular at Gillette Stadium throughout the month, where he said he works six hours a day to prepare.
4. Slater’s Presence: Matthew Slater, the Patriots’ longest-serving player (since his 15th season), was one of the few to join Wise at the stadium. Slater turns 37 on September 9, and his commitment to his craft remains as strong as ever.
5. BB and the Red Bandana: When accepting the Spirit of Tewaaraton Award for his contributions to lacrosse last month, Belichick spoke about how humbled and overwhelmed he was, in part because the late Welles Crowther was a previous winner. Belichick pulled a red headscarf from his back pocket and held it up as he spoke.
“It hit me hard. It hit me really hard. I was truly stunned,” said Alison Crowther, Welles’ mother, from her home in Nyack, NY. So I was totally blown away. I sat there in tears. I couldn’t believe my ears that he would even know Welles’ story.”
– TLN 🥍 (@LacrosseNetwork) June 3, 2022
Crowther, also known as “The Man with the Red Bandana,” saved up to 18 lives during the September 11 attacks in New York City, where he worked as a stock trader and volunteer firefighter. Crowther graduated from Boston College in 1999 where he played lacrosse.
While helping to save others, Crowther lost his life.
Alison shares her son’s story when speaking to schools and businesses across the country: “They embrace it and are inspired by it. This is the treasure I’m holding on to. Rather than the loss of Welles, how alive he is in the minds of so many people.”
When Belichick mentioned him during his own acceptance speech, Alison was shocked. She had no prior connection to Belichick.
“I just see him as a really tough guy. never smiles And to see him talking about Welles like that, he had so much heart in what he said. It was beautiful,” she said.
6. Beginner break: The Patriots’ offseason program ended in mid-June, but it wasn’t until early July that first-round offensive lineman Cole Strange and the team’s rookie class ended the NFL Rookie Transition Program. It helps beginners align with local resources, club culture, history, leadership, and expectations, with the NFL ensuring all teams cover 15 mandatory topics. The rookie class is now getting a short break before reporting for training camp on July 19 (a week ahead of most veterans), although some may choose to stay put.
7. Finish Stronger: Assessing a top area for the Patriots to battle the heavily favored Bills for the AFC East title, McCourty said he will watch as the team finishes the season. He noted Belichick’s annual saying that the season begins after Thanksgiving and contrasted it with the team’s combined 8-9 post-holiday record for the past three seasons.
The Patriots’ post-Thanksgiving schedule this season adds to the challenge of reversing that trend: vs. Bills, at Cardinals, at Raiders, vs. Bengals, vs. Dolphins, at Bills.
8. Farewell to the renegades: Three-time national champions Boston Renegades received a boost from the Patriots — in more ways than one — to lead in Sunday’s Women’s Football Alliance title game against the Minnesota Vixen in Canton, Ohio (2 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Not only did owner Robert Kraft provide the Patriots’ plane for the trip, but quarterback Brian Hoyer also spoke before leaving for the Renegades.
9. Seymour’s presenter: When former Patriots and Raiders defenseman Richard Seymour is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend of August 4-7, his host will be Titus Duren, who serves as Seymour principal at Lower Richland High School (SC ) was a student there.
“He’s been a proud supporter throughout my career, and he’s also a pillar in the South Carolina community. It’s a great way to connect my roots and what’s really important to me throughout my journey,” said Seymour. “He is much more than a headmaster. All the kids that went there, he knows their families. He was someone who really cared about what everyone was doing. It wasn’t just a job for him.”
10. Did you know: Of the four quarterbacks selected in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft — Baker Mayfield (No. 1), Sam Darnold (No. 3), Josh Allen (No. 7), and Josh Rosen (No. 10) — only Allen is still with his original team.
https://www.espn.com/blog/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4825591/rg-iii-patriots-coaching-setup-will-have-massive-impact-in-a-good-way-on-mac-jones RG III: Patriots’ coaching setup will have ‘massive impact in a good way’ on Mac Jones – New England Patriots Blog