The New England Patriots offense has not met expectations recently, but major changes are not in store for the struggling unit.
Head coach Bill Belichick said so himself during a recent radio interview, and during his Tuesday press conference expanded on his prior statements: while some modifications are always made, big ones should not be expected to happen.
“I mean, look, we’re not going to go to the wishbone offense here,” he said. “We’re not going to run the veer. Defensively, we’re not going to run some other team’s defense or whatever. Major changes, absolutely. We wouldn’t be able to do it, we wouldn’t be able to practice it.”
Belichick was then asked in a follow-up whether or not those changes would include a move at the offensive play-caller position. While not directly mentioning that spot or the person occupying it — Matt Patricia — he did express confidence in the system.
“The system that we have in place, I feel good about,” he said, “which includes the offensive staff, which includes me, which includes whatever the whole process is on defense, on offense, on special teams.”
While Belichick’s statements are basically a repeat from what he told WEEI on Monday, he did add that some level of change would always be happening.
One example brought up was the Patriots seemingly shifting to more of a run-focused offensive attack late during their 2018 championship season. However, Belichick was quick to point out that that was the norm and not the exception.
“I’d say we do that every year,” he said. “We have a pretty broad system here, in all three phases of the game. That’s kind of what we do. We have multiple groups on defense, multiple coverages, multiple fronts; we have multiples on offense; we have multiples in the kicking game.
“There’s some things you trim the fat here and move it a little bit over in this direction, or maybe you add a little bit more of something you feel like is going well. Maybe a player is doing something, or some part of your offense or defense is doing something that’s a little more productive and maybe you want to add a little bit more to that. So, that would just be shifting the emphasis. We do that ever year, and why wouldn’t you?”
He went on to talk about the impact of added knowledge at a certain point in the season as well as potential shifts ranging from personnel to weather to opponent. As Belichick added, though, that process is not unique to the Patriots under his leadership: he pointed out that every team he has been with has operated in that fashion.
As far as the aforementioned play-calling aspect would be concerned, meanwhile, Belichick would also fall back on the established modus operandi. Asked whether or not changes in aggressiveness could be part of the process, he simply pointed to his team’s desire to win.
“Every week we’re trying to win,” he said. “So, whatever that is that’s what it is. Whatever plays we call this week, we’re trying to win. Whatever plays we called last week, we’re trying to win. Whatever plays we called the week before, that’s what that was. Or last year, two years ago, five years ago, or 20 years ago.
“You can like them or not like them or whatever, I get that, but whatever we’ve done it was to try to be as productive as we can and to try to beat whichever team we were playing. So, whether that’s conservative, not conservative, same, different, whatever it is, that’s what the intent off all of this — that’s what it always is. So, that’s not going to change.”