Joe Judge's role and Bill Belichick's blind spot

Earlier today, it was announced that Joe Judge would be filling the Assistant Head Coach role, the title somewhat misleading as his role would be mostly within New England's front office as an advisor with on-field responsibilities focused on special teams.

Though I understand the limits and duties of the role do not necessarily fit the title, I still don't like this.

Given Judge and Patricia's reputation around the league from the teams they formerly led, hated by their players for their authoritarianism, crippling the development of their young quarterbacks, and leading teams to losing season after losing season, the only reason they are still in the league is because Belichick likes them for some reason.

And not only does Belichick like them, he outright favors them. Last year, he let Carmen Bricillo walk because he wanted to give Patricia more responsibility. This year, with Jerod Mayo in line to be the potential Belichick successor, he gets passed over for the AHC title in favor of BB's buddy Judge.

A couple months ago I wrote a heavily-downvoted piece where I said that I no longer trusted Belichick as head of the Patriots. To some extent, Belichick has proven me wrong, and as a Patriots fan I am glad to see that. I thought Belichick would give Patricia and Judge more slack given their first-year roles and would not replace them; fortunately, he has made changes, moving Judge out of the quarterbacks room and replacing Patricia's roles with Bill O'Brien and Adrian Klemm.

But in some ways, there are things Belichick continues to do that make me wary of trusting him. He still does not go outside of his own circle when hiring coaches; his list of OC candidates was full of coaches who had served under him and players who had played for him. He still trusts Patricia and Judge (and to a lesser extent Cam Achord) when no one else in the league does, and in moving Judge to a front office role is giving him more and more responsibility.

I do not understand BB's blind spot for MP and JJ, and I think this could easily hurt the team. With Judge in the front office coming off a season where Mac Jones was openly frustrated with the coaching he was receiving, I do not trust Judge to make rational decisions regarding him, and I worry he could find a way to wreck his development in New England, either by encouraging Belichick to promote the development of Bailey Zappe over him or by convincing Belichick to trade him entirely. This is just my speculation, I have no inside sources, but from what I have observed regarding Judge, the way he is thought of by his former players, and the way Belichick has relied on Patricia's judgment, I could see it happening. If it does, I think it will do nothing but harm to the team.

I want the Patriots to win and thrive. I want them to do under Belichick. I just worry that they won't if these decisions continue to be made.

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