Patriots coach Bill Belichick reportedly still bothered by Mac Jones seeking outside help last season

"That effort to improve was showing up the Matt Patricia-Joe Judge contingent that Bill put in charge. When Bill caught wind of it - he's still pissed about it."

Bill Belichick reportedly didn't like Mac Jones seeking outside help during the 2022 season. Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini

The Patriots’ decision to make Matt Patricia their de facto offensive coordinator and Joe Judge their quarterbacks coach certainly confused many around the league and was even reportedly questioned by some of their own players.

As New England’s offense struggled through much of the 2022 season, Mac Jones sought help from outside of Foxborough, causing him to land in the Bill Belichick “doghouse,” NBC Sports’ Chris Simms said in February.

Now months removed from the season, it appears Belichick hasn’t gotten over Jones’s action to reach out to non-Patriots people for help. NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran said that he was recently told Jones’s decision to seek help from other people “really pissed Bill Belichick off” during an appearance on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego with Arcand.”


“As we know, a disloyalty in Bill’s mind is almost worse than bad play,” Curran said of the situation. “Mac, even though you could say it’s ironic because he’s trying to get better and he’s wondering ‘Are we supposed to be doing it this way?’ And he’s asking around the football world about it. That effort to improve was showing up the Matt Patricia-Joe Judge contingent that Bill put in charge. When Bill caught wind of it — he’s still pissed about it.”

Curran didn’t know who in particular Jones spoke to during the 2022 season for help, but he also said that Jones wasn’t alone in questioning the offensive coaching setup. Curran believes that Brian Hoyer was released by the Patriots in March, in part, because of his disapproval of the coaching setup.

“Brian Hoyer was not sold on what was going on last year, and I think he let that be known — that Mac was up against it on a weekly basis,” Curran said. “And I think that’s a large portion of why Hoyer’s not here. The Patriots would tell you otherwise, but they’re paying him $1.4 million to not be here and not be part of the system. Even through training camp, release him in August – you could use him for this offseason. Nope. Thanks. We’re all set with you. It’s interesting.”

Curran mentioned that Hoyer even “anticipated being back” in New England, where he played the last three seasons and spent the majority of his 14-year career. However, the Patriots placed Hoyer on injured reserve following the concussion he suffered in Week 4 and he was never activated after that.


Following the 2022 season, in which the Patriots finished 26th in total offense and dead last in red zone efficiency, New England scrapped the Patricia-Judge experiment. The Patriots re-hired Bill O’Brien to be their offensive coordinator while Judge has reportedly been reassigned and Patricia’s future with the team remains unknown.

Even though the Patriots have turned the page on last season with their coaching changes, Curran thinks it’ll be interesting to see if the damage from last season will bleed into 2023.

“I think how well they’re going to be able to bury the hatchet on Mac’s perceived and presumed disloyalty in doing that [is going to be interesting to watch],” Curran said. “And does Bill O’Brien rectify that or is Bill still itching to teach the kid a lesson?”

When it was announced in January that the Patriots hired O’Brien, MassLive’s Mark Daniels reported that Jones was “very” excited about the opportunity to be coached by him.

Of course, Jones is looking to turn the page on the 2022 season, too. Following a solid rookie campaign, Jones completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with an 84.8 passer rating over 14 games.


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