What a great start for the season, the Patriots are off to a 3-0 start, and the reason why is because of what Josh McDaniels did with the second and third teamers. Quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Mac Jones were brought up to New England and got to play, instead of being kept on the bench. Both of these guys have had success in the past and it seems that McDaniels is willing to work with them instead of keeping them on the bench.
After the Patriots’ 2007 Super Bowl run, the quarterback position was considered to be a strength for the franchise. In 2011, you had Tom Brady, then in 2012, you had Tom Brady. In 2014, you had Jimmy Garoppolo. And then in 2016 you had Jimmy Garoppolo.
The 2017 season for the New England Patriots was a tale of two quarterbacks. The team started the season with backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, then traded for backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the middle of the season, and finally ended the season with backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The season was also a success in terms of the rookie quarterbacks. The team drafted both quarterback Mac Jones and quarterback Cam Newton in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft.. Read more about patriots offensive coordinator and let us know what you think.
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS — Quick thoughts/notes about the New England Patriots and the National Football League:
1. The McDaniels factor: After one of the Patriots-Eagles sessions last week, there was a noteworthy “what might have been” moment between New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Philadelphia executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman.
They had never met until this summer, when Roseman was searching for a successor for Doug Pederson as the Eagles’ coach. McDaniels was a finalist, and if Roseman had chosen him over Nick Sirianni, he would be in the midst of his second term as a head coach, achieving a long-held ambition.
McDaniels, who began his second tenure with the Patriots after stints with the Denver Broncos (2009-10) and Los Angeles Rams (2011-12), is back for his 18th season with the team and 10th as coordinator (2011). No current NFL offensive coordinator has held the same job for a longer period of time with the same team.
When quarterbacks Cam Newton (8-of-9, 103 yards, one touchdown) and Mac Jones (13-of-19, 146 yards) put in performances like they did Thursday — albeit against Eagles’ second-unit defense — it gives the organization optimism as it moves away from Tom Brady.
After practice, Josh McDaniels chats with Eagles’ Howie Roseman. They’ve known one other since McDaniels’ offseason interview for the head coaching position in Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/hNyHRq56dW
August 16, 2021 — Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss)
It also serves as a reminder of McDaniels’ importance as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach — no one works with Newton and Jones more closely than he does — and how crucial it was for the Eagles to pass on hiring him.
“First and foremost, he’s a wonderful guy who connects well with players, but one of his greatest assets as a coach is his ability to teach,” said veteran NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, who credited his time with McDaniels and the Patriots (2005-08) with setting the groundwork for a 14-year career. “There are people who can go through a play but don’t know how to break it down, explain it, and make sure you understand why you’re going where you’re going with the ball.” Or the reason you’re writing this check.
“He tells you what the [quarterback] room expects of you, and then he comes up with something fresh and innovative every day to keep your head working, to keep you learning. He pushes you, and you develop as a player as a result.”
The Eagles, who want to see second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts develop into their franchise quarterback, liked that dynamic.
“I spent the whole summer with Josh my rookie year heading into my second year,” said Cassel, who is a must-see commentator on NBC Sports Boston. “He’d put up exercises that were unlike anything I’d ever seen before. In a two-minute scenario, he’d have me shout out plays. ‘We have a second-and-6, what do you like here?’ he’d remark as we worked down the field. ‘What are your top two red zone calls?’ we’d work our way down to the red zone… It forces you to consider situational football, why you’re calling certain plays, and what your go-to plays are, as well as allowing him to learn about your preferences.”
Josh McDaniels, center, is the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for the tenth consecutive season. Steven Senne/Associated Press
2. Josh Uche update: The promising second-year outside linebacker exited Thursday’s game after six plays for an undisclosed reason, but my understanding is that it has no long-term implications.
3a. Late return: Coach Bill Belichick wasn’t joking when he told reporters first thing Friday morning that the Patriots had just returned to Gillette Stadium a few hours earlier. What would have been a faster return journey from Philadelphia got considerably delayed, and the crew arrived just after dawn.
3b. Jet to Haiti: The team’s owners, Robert and Jonathan Kraft, made a fantastic gesture by loading up the team’s plane with medical supplies to help earthquake-ravaged Haiti. It took off from Logan Airport in Boston on Saturday morning. Three doctors, two surgeons, and a nurse were also on board, in addition to supplies. It serves as a reminder that the Patriots’ emblem is more than simply a football logo.
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4. Cam down the field: Newton looked sharp on Thursday, according to Patriots radio commentator Scott Zolak, who said it was up there with his Week 2 performance against the Seattle Seahawks last season (30-of-44 for 397 yards, one TD, zero INTs). When you consider that Newton completed three throws of at least 10 yards in one first-quarter drive, which he accomplished twice in 2020 — both against Seattle — there’s a strong connection to establish. Yes, Cam is still capable of letting loose.
5. Sirianni on Mac: Sirianni said his staff got a glimpse at Jones during the pre-draft process, in part because wide receiver DeVonta Smith of Alabama was being watched so closely (whom it picked No. 10 overall). Jones’ precision and decisiveness in understanding where to go with the ball, according to Sirianni, stood out. “It’s easy to be like, ‘Whoa, that guy can make some amazing throws,’ when you’re seeing DeVonta’s highlights,” Sirianni said after watching Jones on Thursday.
6. First-class RB issue: When a club has too much skill at one position, like as the Patriots’ running backs, it’s a good “problem.” Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, and Rhamondre Stevenson make up a strong top four, while J.J. Taylor’s spectacular spin move and playmaking abilities earned him a roster place on Thursday, and key special-teamer Brandon Bolden completed the bunch. The Patriots are unlikely to retain six players, and five is a reach. As a result, clubs in need of running backs might consider calling up New England. After the game, Belichick said that the competition tends to bring out the best in everyone, adding that it’s a “wonderful scenario.”
7. Patriots’ field trip to NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey: Belichick appeared to relish talking about the Patriots’ field trip to NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, last week. The Patriots practice in Philadelphia, and Mount Laurel is approximately 20 miles from their hotel, so the timing worked out for an informative and team-bonding excursion.
“For all of us, it was a fantastic vacation,” Belichick told 98.5 The Sports Hub. “NFL Films does an incredible job of capturing all of the elements of football, including the highlights, drama, comedy, passion, and so on. It was fascinating for all of us to witness the behind-the-scenes work they do, such as how they create music, put together various edits, and all of the cameras, storage, and films they have. It’s a massive operation that’s carried out at such a high level…. It provided us a better understanding of how NFL Films has boosted football’s appeal.”
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8. Barmore on the microphone: Christian Barmore, a rookie defensive tackle, fell to the second round of the 2021 NFL draft due to a combination of inexperience and maturity concerns (he had posted on social media that he wanted out of Alabama in 2020 and deleted references to the school from his account), but he showed a level of respect in Philadelphia that caught my attention. Because there was no typical setup for interviews after practice, a Patriots staff person had to kneel in front of him and hold a microphone, which was uncomfortable. Barmore, who is 22 years old, requested if he might take it instead.
The Patriots will host the New York Giants for workouts (10 a.m. start, open to the public) on Wednesday and Thursday, and the clubs will play their preseason finale on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. So why are the practices being held in Foxborough while the game is being played elsewhere? Part of the rationale, according to Giants coach Joe Judge, is that the organizations agreed to “swap a little bit year by year” to offer fans a chance to watch a second opponent in the preseason due to the shift in the preseason schedule (three games instead of four). So, next year, when the Giants are expected to host one preseason game and visit the Patriots in the preseason finale in 2022, the two teams will likely practice together in East Rutherford beforehand.
10. Interesting Fact: If Jones’ 17-play, 91-yard touchdown drive on Thursday had occurred during the regular season, it would have been the Patriots’ longest touchdown drive since Week 3 of 2015. (a 51-17 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars). One similarity between the two 17-play drives was the way they ended: LeGarrette Blount scored on a 1-yard run against Jacksonville, and Stevenson, who has been compared to Blount, did the same on Thursday.
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