A New England Patriots employee has been caught filming opponents’ defensive signals. The team’s coach, Bill Belichick, is currently under investigation for potentially providing the information to an outside party. If he were found guilty of doing so, it would be a serious blow to his reputation and career as one of the most successful coaches in NFL history.
In a recent interview, Mac Jones said that he was “not worried” about the Alabama coaching staff as they were not going to recruit him. This caused a serious threat to Bill Belichick’s reputation and health because of the possible repercussions from the players on the team. Read more in detail here: mac jones alabama.
If Mac Jones wants to play in the NFL for a long time, he’d best hope Bill Belichick works his magic this weekend.
Oh, and he should put on his knee brace, adjust his chin strap, and brace himself for a potentially unpleasant day at work.
Although the New England Patriots had what looked to be a top-notch offensive line before the season, Carmen Bricillo’s unit has fallen short of expectations. At left tackle, Isaiah Wynn, the team’s first-round selection in 2018, seems to be outmatched. Michael Onwenu, the left guard charged with replacing Joe Thuney’s shoes, has gone from being a standout as a rookie to being benched in favor of veteran backup Ted Karras.
Even experienced center David Andrews doesn’t seem to be in sync, as demonstrated by his inability to snap the ball on time on a crucial fourth-quarter play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Furthermore, the right tackle position has been a complete catastrophe and remains one of the team’s major flaws.
Unfortunately for Jones, the Patriots are facing a nightmarish situation that puts his health and growth, as well as his coach’s reputation, in jeopardy.
The offensive line, which is already the team’s most troublesome position group, seems to be badly undermanned going into a road game in Houston. Shaq Mason (abdomen) and Trent Brown (calf) will not play due to injuries, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Meanwhile, after missing all of practice this week, Wynn and Onwenu are still on the COVID/reserve list.
The Patriots will almost certainly start four new offensive linemen, which doesn’t auger well for Jones’ prospects of winning his second NFL game. The first-year pro, who isn’t renowned for his movement or athleticism, will be put to the test against the Texans, who will put his toughness and pocket presence to the test. In the meanwhile, Belichick and his staff must figure out how to keep the team’s young quarterback out of harm’s way as much as possible.
That, however, is a task that is easier said than done.
And the offensive line’s worrisome condition, both in terms of depth and efficiency, has significant implications for Jones and Belichick.
Both Bill Belichick and Mac Jones seem to be in severe danger as the Patriots’ offensive line struggles. | Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald
On the one hand, how can the Patriots expect a first-year quarterback to succeed behind a struggling (and now depleted) offensive line? Jones has shown the ability to execute the offense at a higher-than-acceptable level when given the opportunity. Despite this, he’s seldom given a clear pocket to work with, which speaks to the team’s front-end difficulties. Jones requires adequate protection to perform his job successfully since he doesn’t have a very powerful arm or an intimidating physical presence.
Will he be able to make it through the NFL’s first 17-game season in the future, though? If the offensive line continues to be a problem, he will undoubtedly be subjected to additional physical abuse. From a mental standpoint, the move from college to the pros is difficult enough, but the mental toll of taking hits from NFL defenders cannot be overstated.
One hit may totally derail a rookie’s development, as we witnessed with Joe Burrow a year ago. Jones already wears a knee brace, and he’s seemed to be less than 100 percent after getting up from the ground on a few occasions. If the Patriots’ backup offensive lineman make mistakes that give rushers a clear route to the quarterback, it may spell disaster in the form of a severe injury.
Taking a larger picture of the issue, Belichick’s reputation is also on the line. Sure, he has no say in whether or not a player is hurt or tests positive for COVID. However, it is his responsibility to build the roster, and some of his offensive line choices seem to be backfiring.
Here are the numbers I have for the Patriots’ pass protection through four weeks:
Isaiah Wynn had two sacks, five hits, two holds, and a false start. 4 sacks for Yasir Durant Justin Herron had a sack, five hits, and a hold. Shaq Mason has four hits. 4 hits for David Andrews Michael Onwenu has two hits and two holds. Ted Karras had a sack and a hit.
October 4, 2021 — Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ)
Will Wynn be able to live up to his first-round credentials when he returns? In Pro Football Focus’ grading system, the injury-prone tackle is ranked 48th out of 73 tackles, and he gets beat far too frequently for someone who was drafted 23rd overall. Don’t forget that Belichick used a third-round pick in 2019 on Yodny Cajuste, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman who has yet to play a single offensive action in the NFL.
Belichick might have made a mistake at right tackle as well. He brought Brown back for a second tour of duty after moving on from Marcus Cannon. The skilled but inconsistent veteran, on the other hand, only played seven plays before getting injured. As a consequence, the Patriots have attempted to make do with Justin Herron and Yasir Durant, an experiment that has placed Jones in immediate danger on many occasions.
Despite his status as the greatest head coach of all time, Bill Belichick’s legacy as a general manager isn’t nearly as illustrious. With so many questions surrounding the offensive line, it’s reasonable to ask whether he done the greatest job possible preparing Jones for success. After all, the rushing game has been non-existent, and pass protection has been a major concern.
“The offensive line performed well, really very well,” Mac Jones said of @MerloniFauria.
I’m not sure whether he’s simply saying that to keep the team’s spirits up, but the coaching staff would strongly disagree. It’s not ideal to have 12 QB hits and -1 running yards.
October 4, 2021 — Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable)
Jones’ growth may be stifled if the situation does not change quickly. He won’t be able to improve as a quarterback if he gets pressured on a regular basis, sometimes within a fraction of a second after the snap. And if he gets beaten and injured while playing behind a weak offensive line, he won’t be able to make good improvements. Jones will struggle to build success as a rookie without at least some sort of a rushing offense and improved blocking on passing downs.
What about Belichick?
Right now, the only thing he seems to have going for him is that he appears to have discovered a franchise quarterback. But if he fails to preserve his most precious asset, Foxborough’s football future may be quite different.
Bill Belichick’s reputation as a general manager is on the line, and he can’t afford to make any more errors.
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