Mac Jones

Humbled Patriots promise next year will be better

One day after the regular season expires they call it  Black Monday in the NFL. Coaches associated with failed teams do some serious pacing, stuffing their cellhpones in sofa cushions hoping that if they don’t hear it ring their boss isn’t really calling to request his immediate presence on the executive’s carpet.

For the Patriots, there was no blockbuster Black Monday news. Bill Belichick confirmed that he will remain the generalissimo for the 24th season.

Belcihick did offer what, for Coach Chuckles, qualifies as deep introspection. Referring to the Pats’ dismal 8-9 season, Belichick said “That’s not our goal.”

Thank heavens he cleared that up.

“We need to improve on that. So, that’s all of us. Accountability everywhere, starting with me, the coaching staff, the players, each unit.”

Sarcasm aside (Belichick just makes it so easy to turn snarky), it seems that he and owner Bob Kraft may have had at least a preliminary chat before the coach’s media session.

New England’s Fan in Chief and his son Jonathan, the Chief in Waiting, emailed season ticket holders, assuring them that they are as disappointed as anyone with how the 2022 season disintegrated into sloppy mediocrity.

The Krafts say they will make critical evaluations of the football operation. Of course, any team serious about winning does that every season. But for the owners of the Patriots to say it out loud, and with Belichick echoing them, lends weight to calls for substantive changes.

There were moments this season in which Belichick seemed almost detached when it became obvious this group of players would fade into the pack.

There were decisions that sank Patriots hopes for maintaining their 2021 standing, let alone improve upon it. Matt Patricia surely is qualified to perform useful functions, but don’t let him in the same room with the offense when the conversation turns to how to move the football and put points on the board.

There are plenty of on-field personnel issues to address. There is ample time to evaluate each position and decide on the men who will compete for it this summer.

But making needed adjustments with the coaching staff must occur first. They are the deciders on who should do what and how they should do it. And since the Pats’ offense endured the season’s ugliest pratfall, they must begin on that side of the football.

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