With the New England Patriots’ season officially coming to an end after Week 17 — the team failed to qualify for the playoffs this year for the first time since 2008 — their assistant coaches will have more time than usual to assess the market and leave for potential opportunities elsewhere. In fact, that process already seems to have started.
According to a report by Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority, Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch interviewed for the vacant head coaching position at the University of Arizona on Monday night.
Arizona had fired its previous head coach, Kevin Sumlin, earlier this month after starting the regular season 0-5. A 70-7 loss against Arizona State was the final nail in the coffin, leading to Sumlin’s dismissal with an overall record of 9-20 in three years. In order to fill his old spot, the school has set its sights on numerous candidates. Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is among them, and so is Jedd Fisch.
Fisch originally arrived in New England in January, shortly after the Patriots’ wild card playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. While he was given no official title upon joining the organization, it later announced that he would serve as the team’s quarterbacks coach and thus be taking over a role that was held by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels the previous eight seasons.
Under Fisch’s tutelage, the position struggled in Year One after future Hall of Famer Tom Brady. Led by Cam Newton and with backups Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer also seeing the field at times, the group combined to complete 64.7 percent of its pass attempts so far this year for 2,723 yards, 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Newton also added 489 yards and 11 scores on 122 rushing attempts.
Of course, those numbers are not necessarily indicative of the job Fisch has done in his first year with the Patriots. The team’s supporting cast, lack of a traditional offseason workouts and preseason games, and Newton’s Covid-19 diagnosis in October all contributed to the issues as well.