The core concept of the Patriots’ offense may be the biggest talking point surrounding the team as Minicamp gets underway. Not just who will be calling the plays, but what plays they’ll be calling.
Over the weekend, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne made headlines when he told NESN’s Zack Cox that the Patriots’ offense is undergoing a shift heading into the 2022 season. “We do have a new system,” Bourne told Cox, “New words, new terminology. That’s the biggest thing.” This comes after suggestions that the Patriots may be shifting to a more Shanahan-style of offense based on initial observations at OTAs.
Speaking to the media before Tuesday’s Minicamp practice, Bill Belichick was asked about Bourne’s comments. Belichick seems to have taken a more hands-on role with the offense this year following the departure of long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Early on in spring practices, Belichick has spend most of his time with the offensive players.
“We’ve had a lot of changes offensively in the last couple of years,” Belichick began. “Good time to streamline things – we did that defensively a couple years ago [later clarified 2019 and 2020], feel like this is a good time to do it offensively. So, there’s an element of that every year.”
Asked if he specifically meant streamlining the offensive language, Belichick replied that is “part of it.”
Later in the press conference, Belichick was pressed on if the change means a whole new offensive system for the Patriots, and ‘how big’ the changes are that are coming. “I don’t know,” Belichick replied. “We make changes every year. I wouldn’t be able to rank them.”
As such, the overarching philosophy of the Patriots’ offense to start the post-McDaniels era remains shrouded in mystery. However, Belichick did give one definitive answer, when asked if the team will rewrite its playbook this season.
“I mean, if you’re asking if we’re going run the Veer offense, no. Not really sure what we’re talking about here.”
Veer aside, it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to get a clearer picture of the 2022 Patriots’ offense. From scheme to play caller, the answers to those questions may still be a few months away.