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Patriots owner Robert Kraft offers sympathy for Matt Patricia after failed ‘experiment’

Patricia served as New England’s offensive play caller in 2022.

New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The New England Patriots’ offense took a well-documented step back throughout the 2022 season. When it comes to placing blame, de facto offensive coordinator Matt Patricia has been a popular target.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft on the other hand offered Patricia sympathy, not blame, when discussing the failures of the Patriots’ offense.

“I’m in no position to know whether going in, that’s the right thing. He’s a very good guy. Very smart. An engineer. Works hard,” Kraft told reporters on Monday. “I think he got put in a difficult position and I think it was sort of an experiment. He worked very hard at it. In retrospect, I don’t think it was the right thing. And I feel bad for him because he is such a hard worker. He got put in a difficult position.”

Under Patricia, who made quite the shift to calling offensive plays and coaching offensive line after working primarily on the defensive side of the ball during his career, New England’s offense regressed in several significant categories. That included third-down efficiency, red-zone success, first downs, touchdowns, and sacks taken.

The regression led to New England opening a search for an official offensive coordinator following the season, which ended up with the hiring of Bill O’Brien.

With O’Brien now occupying the offensive coordinator title, Patricia’s role with New England remains to be seen. He interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos for vacancies on their defensive coaching staff this offseason, but did not land either position.

When asked if Patricia will be back with New England on Monday, Bill Belichick simply responded, “not sure.” If he was to return, it would likely not be in a coaching role but a perhaps similar to position to which he held in ’21.