Patriots

‘I have significant concerns’: Louis Riddick identified a potential Patriots problem area

ESPN ranked the Patriots 13th overall in its "future power rankings."

Mac Jones
Joe Judge and Mac Jones at Patriots OTAs. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Patriots are less than a week away from opening the team’s 2022 training camp. When practices begin, it will be an early opportunity for New England to begin grappling with the exit of longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

McDaniels, 46, left the Patriots to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s a significant loss for Bill Belichick’s team, especially given the important relationship McDaniels quickly established with then-rookie quarterback Mac Jones.

As Jones heads into his second season, he will have to forge a connection with the new structure of New England offensive coaching.

Interestingly, Belichick has not named a specific replacement for McDaniels, preferring to appoint both Joe Judge and Matt Patricia — neither of whom have called plays on offense before — into important (though not specifically defined) roles on the offensive staff.

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In a recent assessment of the Patriots as part of ESPN’s “Future Power Rankings,” NFL analysts Louis Riddick singled out New England’s coaching questions as the major “worry” for the team.

“The Patriots’ lack of explosiveness on the outside was concerning going into last season, but I’m more concerned this year about who will be in the ear of Jones when it comes to his development and the play-calling,” noted Riddick, who played for Belichick as a member of the Browns during his 10-year NFL career.

“That continuity, relationship and chemistry is not easy to duplicate, and given the coaches Belichick is seemingly choosing from to take McDaniels’ place — including offensive assistants Joe Judge and Matt Patricia — I have significant concerns,” Riddick concluded.

The decision to not simply hire a standard offensive coordinator to replace McDaniels will become one of the major talking points for the upcoming Patriots season. Whether Belichick’s decision pays off remains to be seen.

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