June 12, 2024


“It is only a unhealthy soccer crew.”

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.
Invoice Belichick and the Patriots are actually 1-4 on the season. AP Photograph/Michael Dwyer

The 2023 Patriots season is on the point of a complete collapse.

Granted, after relinquishing 69 unanswered factors and dropping two blowout losses to the Cowboys and Saints in Weeks 4 and 5, the case may very well be made that New England’s present marketing campaign has already been sunk.

Following yet one more lopsided defeat in opposition to New Orleans the place New England’s offensive unit didn’t even get off the bottom, there have been a number of ex-Patriots, media pundits, and different sports activities personalities who’ve provided up some sobering ideas concerning the state of the New England group below Invoice Belichick.

Here’s what they’re saying after the Patriots’ 1-4 begin to the 2023 season.

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman has not often provided up essential takes in opposition to the Patriots group over time, particularly in the case of his former coach Invoice Belichick.

However a day after New England’s 34-0 loss to the Saints, Edelman was candid concerning the lack of explosive weapons at the moment current on New England’s offense.

“I feel he wants a bit of assistance on the offensive facet,” Edelman stated on Fox Sports activities’ “The Herd With Colin Cowherd.” “You have a look at the defensive picks, all of them look fairly good. They all the time come out they usually carry out. The Christian Gonzalez child, earlier than he obtained damage, seemed like he was taking part in good.

“However we now have whiffed — and I hate speaking about Coach like this — however we now have whiffed on a variety of offensive skill-position gamers. I gained’t name guys out, however there have been three, 4 receivers once I was taking part in that we obtained within the prime rounds that [didn’t stick.]

Specifically, Edelman identified what appears to be a significant offseason misstep in letting Jakobi Meyers stroll in favor of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Meyers, who established himself as Mac Jones’ security blanket and trusty slot receiver, has reeled in 18 catches and two touchdowns over three video games with the Raiders. 

Smith-Schuster has 14 catches for New England, however for simply 86 whole yards. 

“I’m nonetheless a bit of shook on the Jakobi Meyers departure. I didn’t get that. … He may separate quite a bit,. He may run routes. He was powerful within the run sport. He would go in and block (with) drive. And that’s what you preach as a New England receiver: Get open, catch the ball, and block within the run sport. These are the three belongings you hear on a regular basis. This receiver group we now have, it simply looks like they’re struggling to create separation whatever the motive. They haven’t been in a position to separate.”

Devin McCourty 

The times of considering that the 2023 Patriots is likely to be a viable playoff contender have come and gone.

Now, former Patriots security Devin McCourty believes that New England’s finest guess shifting ahead is looking for a prime choose within the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

“In the event you’re within the New England space, it’s all about Tremendous Bowls,” McCourty stated on NBC Sunday. “I performed there 13 years. It was all about, ‘I don’t care what number of playoff video games you win. Are you going to win the Tremendous Bowl?’ This crew now could be, ‘Are we going to win or are we going to only hold the sport inside two scores?’

“I feel that’s the battle proper now. I don’t know the place they flip to attempt to discover solutions to attempt to flip this season round. Their finest guess is likely to be ‘tank it’ or no matter you need to name it and get an excellent draft choose.’”

Rodney Harrison

One other former Patriots security, Rodney Harrison, shared an identical sentiment as McCourty on NBC, noting that the present roster appears rudderless below Belichick. 

“These younger gamers, they’re not listening to Coach Belichick. They don’t actually perceive the Patriot Approach. It’s actually international to them,” Harrison stated. “As a result of Coach Belichick hasn’t forgotten learn how to coach. However whenever you begin their crew, I don’t assume it’s only a nice, gifted crew. 

“Offensively, you have a look at the quarterback, he’s misplaced his confidence. The offensive line — I’m being good once I say they’re common. They usually simply don’t have a run sport. They don’t have a primary receiver. It’s simply so many points they’ve, and on the defensive facet of the ball, they’re damage. … “It’s only a unhealthy soccer crew.”

Adam Schefter

Primarily based on Belichick’s postgame feedback on Sunday, it seems as if Jones will begin subsequent weekend when New England heads to Las Vegas to tackle the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.

However talking on the “Pat McAfee Present” on Monday, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter appeared to sign that better modifications are coming to New England’s offense.

“What Invoice has stated — Invoice has stated that he’s sticking with Mac. That he’s the one. I feel everybody throughout the league appears at it and says, ‘Properly, they’re gonna be doing one thing.’ What’s it that they’re gonna be doing,” Schefter requested. “As a result of Invoice Belichick is coming off possibly the 2 worst losses of his profession in back-to-back weeks. The offense has been inept. It has not gotten the job executed. So you already know that they’re not gonna stand pat.

“That they’re gonna be doing one thing. So the query is, what’s that? And Invoice has stated that he’s standing behind the quarterback for now. We’ve heard different head coaches say related issues earlier than solely to go a special route in the course of the week. So, let’s see the place that goes. However, look, I feel it’s honest to say that, after they play the Las Vegas Raiders this week, that the offense isn’t going to look the identical. What which means, we’ll discover out because the week evolves.”

Rex Ryan

Invoice Belichick’s feedback on New England needing to “begin throughout” made waves following Sunday’s blowout loss.

Former Jets coach (and vocal Mac Jones critic) Rex Ryan gave his tackle Belichick’s postgame prose 

“What he means is, ‘We obtained to do every thing. We obtained to return and determine who the hell we’re. What are we going to be about? Are we going to be a working soccer crew? Simply throw it all around the lot? Who the hell are we?’ ” Ryan stated on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Monday. “He’s by no means misplaced two video games like that in his complete profession. I imply, he’s getting smoked.

“To me, he’s going to get his employees collectively and say, ‘What can we do?’ Properly, proper now, I do not know. You used to have the ability to run the soccer. That’s the place it higher begin. You set it on this child’s (Mac Jones) palms, it’s a catastrophe. It’s going to be a catastrophe.”

Shannon Sharpe

New England reaching all-time low in 2023 prompted former tight finish Shannon Sharpe to tip his cap to Tom Brady throughout Monday’s episode of “First Take” on ESPN.

“I feel I owe Brady an apology, as a result of I don’t assume I gave him sufficient credit score, or I ought to have given him much more credit score, as a result of what Brady allowed Coach (Invoice) Belichick to do,” Sharpe stated. “Brady is the most important eraser in professional sports activities. As a result of each mistake that Coach Belichick made throughout that twenty years (in New England), Brady may erase it.

“You took a foul receiver; Brady would take a seventh-round receiver — a receiver that you simply took within the first or the second or the third spherical — and Brady would erase it with a Julian Edelman. Otherwise you make a mistake on a defensive again, he would take any person else and he may erase it.”

Dan Orlovsky 

Whereas Mac Jones has acquired his fair proportion of criticism over the past 24 hours, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky believes that New England’s struggles are extra of a byproduct of different deficiencies throughout New England’s roster. 

“If Mac Jones was in San Francisco, he’d be taking part in like [49ers QB] Brock Purdy,” Orlovsky stated.

Rex Ryan, as anticipated, disagreed. 

Oh, God, no,” the previous Jets coach responded. 

Invoice Simmons 

Sports activities persona Invoice Simmons provided up a harsh tackle the way forward for the Patriots throughout his newest podcast episode on Sunday. 

“He’s in his early 70s. I talked to lots of people — I talked about this on my podcast Thursday — I feel that is his final yr as coach,” Simmons stated of Belichick. “I felt that manner earlier than the [Saints] sport. Not less than as coach of the Patriots, I feel that is it … I feel [Jerod] Mayo goes to be the coach.”

Simmons added: “It’s time for a divorce. “I assure you Kraft desires to backside out this yr and get a top-five choose. This is likely one of the finest QB courses — most likely one of many three better of the century. I used to be watching [USC QB] Caleb Williams final evening (and) that man is [expletive] wonderful. You get that man, you’re mainly getting (Patrick) Mahomes. … He’s wonderful. He’s an electrical, electrical soccer participant.”