Who’s REALLY In Charge of the Patriots Offense?
The New England Patriots offense was far and away the most frustrating part of the team to watch last season. All off-season,c we were sold that Bill O’Brien was going to fix the offense and Mac Jones, but is Bill O’Brien fully in charge of the Patriots offense?
The benching of Demario Douglas over the weekend makes me nervous as a Patriots fan that O’Brien might not be fully in charge of his own offense. Douglas was benched after fumbling at the end of the first quarter. In classic Belichick fashion, when a young player makes a mistake, Bill makes it a point to make it a teaching lesson.
If Belichick was truly doing what was best for the team and Bill O’Brien had full control of his offense, I don’t believe Douglas should have been benched. It clearly hurt the Patriots offense.
When Matt Patricia and Joe Judge were in charge of the Patriots offense I expected them to do whatever Belichick told them, because they had no experience coaching an offense and were generally lost at times.
However, I expected the opposite with O’Brien. He was brought in to clean up the offense and have his fingerprints all over game plans and philosophical changes. While I haven’t been overly impressed with the play calling so far and the amount of plays developing behind the line of scrimmage, I find it more concerning if O’Brien doesn’t have the ability to have his best players on the field. “Ball security’s obviously a huge part of what we preach,” O’Brien said. “Pop will learn from what happened on Sunday, but Pop has had a really good rookie experience… We like when Pop’s in the game.”
If the offensive coordinator likes when a young explosive player is on the field on a team that lacks explosive players, it’s troubling if he’s being benched for a mistake that is going to happen in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott a veteran fumbled last week and was not benched and is a far less important/explosive player on the Patriots offense.
Belichick is the greatest coach of all time, but he lost the offense last year hiring two unqualified coaches to run it, and now he has a qualified coach in the right position and he might be undermining him due to archaic football practices.
Did the Patriots lose because Douglas was benched? Probably not. But they gave themselves a much steeper hill to climb getting back into the game while he was standing on the sidelines.
If the Patriots offense is going to succeed, Douglas needs to be on the field more and O’Brien needs to be empowered to have the players he wants on the field actually on the field.