Matt Patricia explains why transition to offensive team makes sense for Patriots

Matt Patricia explains why transition to offensive team makes sense for Patriots

It’s been a while since Matt Patricia has focused his efforts on the attacking side of the ball. He was an offensive assistant under Bill Belichick in 2004 and 2005 at New England, spending time under longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnechhia, before moving to the defensive side of the ball.

Why then, he was asked on Monday, would the Patriots return him to the offensive side of the ball nearly two full decades later?

“I appreciate that question,” Patricia said. “For me, I guess I would start by saying, one of the things I love about coaching is teaching. I love teaching the game. You know, really. I think when you teach and that you become a coach, for us, and especially here – and the coach does a great job of that, and that’s something I learned from my first day on the door – you learn all the facets of the game. You learn offense and defense, stances and fundamentals and techniques and put yourself in a situation where you are truly comfortable coaching anyone on the court at any time, regardless of either the side of the ball.

“It’s different here. It’s not like that everywhere. I really appreciated this education that I was entitled to have while I was here. Definitely starting in attack, having to learn defense, passing on defense – even that change, going further in a room where there’s Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Rosevelt Colvin, Junior Seau, great, great players, Tedy Bruschi… Honestly, as a coach, you probably learn more than them at first, but you can give their perspective, give them advice.

“You can tell them, ‘What is the other side thinking? What is the other side trying to do here?’ You can explain to them, ‘What are they trying to take away? What are they trying to do?’ There are things you can give perspective on, sometimes from the other side, which I think is really what’s so unique here. We do that as a team in general. We get up and we talk to the team and the coach (Belichick) stands up in front of the team, we can talk on both sides of the ball and everyone listens. Everyone pays attention. That’s how you learn really the game at a higher level.”

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Patricia explained that he worked with the offensive line during Phase 2 of the off-season training program, and it looks like that will be his gig going forward, although he made no mention of any specific titles. . He could also be in the running to be an offensive caller in Foxboro, but that job apparently hasn’t been given to Belichick yet.

After serving as a linebacker coach, safety coach and defensive coordinator in New England before taking over as manager in Detroit in 2018, Patricia said he gained a full base of football knowledge under Belichick and the sides of like-minded coaches.

“I was lucky to do that for a long, long time here,” Patricia said of learning the full game. “Even though I was on the defensive side of the ball, listening and having these conversations, especially with Josh [McDaniels] and he and I talk about philosophy and games and things like that… From that point of view, it’s just my coaching journey, my journey in the last few years in the NFL. But right now I’m really focusing on the pitch with the players and not really looking at the big picture.”

Patricia said the retired Scarnecchia was “one of the greats” and someone he would “always keep on speed dial” if he needed help in his new role.

“I don’t care where you coach in the NFL,” Patricia said, “you hang out with Dante, you automatically become a better coach.”

Whether he receives the title officially or not, if the offensive line is – it seems – Patricia’s goal for 2022, he will play a key role in the development of two of the most important young players in the club. alignment. He will coach 2022 first-round pick Cole Strange, and his squad will be tasked with supporting 2021 first-round quarterback Mac Jones.

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After a year behind the scenes at New England, Patricia seemed thrilled to be back on the field and back with the offensive line, where he played while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“Certainly, the fundamentals of the offensive line are something near and dear to my heart,” said Patricia. “(There are) certain things that, honestly, I learned a long time ago that are still consistent: you grow and you learn every year. You talk to the coaches. You watch the tape. Definitely on the other side of the ball, as a defensive coach, you watch a lot of offensive line play. That’s for sure. You break down a lot of offensive linemen. You rate a lot of offensive linemen. You try to find protections. You’re trying to figure out how to attack certain things so you can just flip what’s great.

“You can look at the other side. You can try to understand: ‘It’s the pressures they bring. This is what it looks like from the front. That’s how it is in the racing game. gives them problems. You just kind of have this knowledge of back and forth, and you’re just trying to coach that and teach it to the guys, and really let them play. .”

Whether he receives the title officially or not, if the offensive line is – it seems – Patricia’s goal for 2022, he will play a key role in the development of two of the most important young players in the club. alignment. He will coach 2022 first-round pick Cole Strange, and his squad will be tasked with supporting 2021 first-round quarterback Mac Jones.

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