Patriots Boot Camp 2022: Breaking the story’s biggest story

Diluted expectations. That might be the best way to describe the atmosphere as the 2022 Patriots head to training camp this week.

There is a bit of a sense of bridge over things. Narrow to the max, they pretty much sat in a free agency while saying “see you” to some really good and/or seasoned guys – JC Jackson, Kyle Van Noy, Jimmy Collins, Donta Hightower and Chuck Mason to name a handful.

They led the recruitment by taking an offensive guard. The running philosophy of the post-McDaniels offensive coaching team seems to be “what the hell is this, let’s try it and see how it goes…” all from a team that was – after 13 games last year – the top seed in the AFC before collapsing down the extension.

A slogan like “2022: Watch Us Recalibrate!!!” He will not put a breeder in the seats. But with six guys holding hats over $10 million this year and only three next year (with $60 million expected in the maximum money as it is today), that’s sort of what it is.

All the things you need to discover are front and center of the most important storylines heading into camp. The plot starts from the top.

Hit on Bell

In late March of 2021, owner Robert Kraft lamented the Patriots’ poor record in recent years and hoped for better results with a more collaborative approach. Bill Belichick and his staff handed over Mac Jones, Christian Barmore, and Ramondry Stephenson as key players.

In March of 2022, Kraft lamented the lack of post-season wins over the past three seasons. Will Belichick deliver again? More importantly, how does the most accomplished coach in NFL history respond to the inaccurate jokes of “What have you done for me lately?” It’s not as though Belichick is unaware that the team hasn’t won post-season games.

But the moves and decisions made – huge money for Nelson Agulor and Juno Smith, no succession plan for McDaniels, waiving potentially useful first-round defensive players – all come under scrutiny this year, all set against a steady backdrop that Tom Brady has continued as one of the Football’s best quarterback for a long time after the Patriots were eager to move on.


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How does the offensive setup look?

We can drop the game of chance. Matt Patricia is the acting attack coordinator. It’s not a title because a) Belichick likes to be vague about who’s doing what, and b) Patricia can avoid the weekly access periods to media she would normally be subject to, allowing Belichick to keep the “one-vote” approach he so desires. His appointment as coordinator would mean the Patriots should pay him like coordinator and why would he do that when the Lions are still paying Patricia until the end of the 2022 season?

So what would offensive coordinator Matt Patricia look like? my guess? The catastrophe would hardly be foreseen. It’s definitely not a doll. He’s a crazy worker. And regardless of the Detroit disaster – players are really enjoying it. In addition, people learn things from failure. One would expect Patricia to be a better coach now than when he left the Patriots in early 2018 because we are improving in our careers.

As for quarterback coach Joe Judge, he’s got a “don’t screw it up…” mandate with Jones. The judge, in my experience, is a really good guy but he’s very bold and gives speeches. Watch some of his late-season press conferences in New York last year. It might be a little more with a Mac that’s tough enough on itself. Jones-Judge’s chemistry will be a key factor in Jones’ evolution from Pro Bowler as a novice.

down on the corners

I understand why the Patriots bid farewell to Stefon Gilmore and JC Jackson last calendar year. I don’t understand why crafting a corner before Round 4 this year wasn’t a priority. Jack Jones may be Asante Samuel 2.0 – it looks like he’ll have every chance of making a case – but there’s no way to look at the current depth-of-corner plot and feel awesome about handling the artillery that Bills and Dolphins have rolling out of.

especially because, with jacksonBills dined well at New England High School. Camp will be where we get our first indications on whether Malcolm Butler can turn back the clock, Galen Mills can go from steady to outstanding or JoJoanne Williams can change the conversation about his disappointing arc since he was drafted in the second round in year 2019.

JC Jackson

USA Today Sports

Do the Patriots have enough left-back talent to keep JC Jackson down? We’ll start figuring it out at boot camp.

wide battles

Let’s move on to a fun and optimistic topic.

While the Patriots don’t have the kind that’s impossible to handle on a large scale, they have plenty of players that can be a problem. Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker and surprise minicamp Tre Nixon, Tyquan Thornton and Agholor are a very interesting mix of players who – taken together – tick every necessary square except for the running horror.

So how is the click command detected? Will Parker be like N’Keal Harry can’t be? Will Bourne take another big step forward after 2021? Will Agholor be more confident and give the Patriots the production he gave the Raiders in 2020? Could Nixon be a water bug?

Who is left?

During the junior camp, we saw fifth-year offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn flip right with Trent Brown with reps on the left tackle—Wynn’s usual spot. why? Was it a one time or permanent thing? And what kind of offensive shift might occur because of this mod if it really became a permanent thing? We got eyes on him.

Juneau Time

life transactions. give you something. You give me something. The Patriots give Juno Smith a lot of stuff (money). In 2021, not much has been said. his fault? their fault? Nobody’s fault? Did not matter.

Curran: Juno Smith designer assigned to make up for 2021 season loss

The bottom line is that the team needs more bang for their buck from a player who has the dexterity and explosion to be an offensive pivot. Smith cannot be a major factor in September and October without the first building in July and August. This camp is important to him.

Who’s in third place (bottom)?

The Patriot offense does best with a clever, rigorous, productive, and dependable Third Down. Kevin Falk. Danny Woodhead. Shane Ferrin. James White. They are the oil in the engine. With White back from a groin injury and towards the end of his career, someone needs to be involved in the role. Ty Montgomery? JJ Taylor? Rookie Pierre Strong? Maybe even Stevenson? Someone with soft hands, the ability to pick up a peek and some vibration to find sticks is vital.

crime turning?

There’s smoke everywhere the Patriots switch things up a bit when attacking. Is it just simplifying terms and storing things that are no longer relevant after Brady/McDaniels? Or will there be a major change to a simpler, more user-friendly offense and away from the complex but demanding offense that was so reliant on post-snap readings by the midfielder and receiver? We might not get the answer during camp because if the Patriots switch things up, they’ll keep it under wraps when we watch. But we will look for signs.

The linebacker is in constant flux

With the departure of Hightower, Collins, and Van Noy, the Patriots have plenty of institutional knowledge, success, and production to replace them. Who are they doing their finger to do this? How effective is this approach? Will it be the linebackers doing the second tier work or will they use the hybrid safety more? If the defense is going to do better than it did at the end of 2021, this group of untested unknowns will have a big say in it.

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