The New England Patriots locker room is going to need some repairing before training camp even gets going.
Before the New England Patriots season even kicks off, it’s in turmoil. Mac Jones has already been rumored to have been shopped in trades, and that news has apparently irked fellow teammates.
In an NBC Sports Boston article, here’s what Phil Perry reported:
“I’ve spoken to players who are not happy that this is in the news, that the Patriots and their potential interest in trading Mac Jones is out there in the public sphere,” Perry added. “They aren’t happy on Mac’s behalf; they aren’t happy, period, on their own behalves. They’re not happy that 2022 is bleeding into 2023.”
For what it’s worth, the validity of those Jones rumors is up in the air. Awful Announcing did a dive into the situation and how its a microcosm of the problems with “NFL insiderdom”.
Regardless of if the rumors are true or not, it appears that the player’s reaction as reported by Perry is. Clearly, the Patriots have not done good enough damage control both before and after the reports of rifts between Jones and Belichick.
Jones reportedly wasn’t getting good enough coaching and sought external help last season, which is why he’s in bad favor with Belichick. Players think it’s fair that Jones did that, according to Perry.
Patriots have a cultural mountain to climb before 2023
Between now and Week 1 of the NFL season, we have the NFL Draft, minicamps, training camp, and preseason. The good news for Bill Belichick and his staff is that there’s a long runway before kickoff for them to tidy up the very clear issues between the coaching staff and players, saving the locker room.
The bad news about that runway is that these issues still have time to fester. Players are not going to be mandated to get in the building for several more months. Nipping this in the bud isn’t exactly easy at this point in the calendar.
Clearly, there have been miscalculations and bad swings for the Patriots the last year or so when it comes to coaching. They didn’t name an official play-caller last season and went with a committee-based approach to offensive play-calling in 2022. That was a bad call.
With Bill O’Brien back in tow, that part will be amended. But clearly, there are many more bridges that need to be built. If there are more swings and misses with coaching philosophy, maybe Bill’s heir will take over sooner than we think.
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