The New England Patriots were quick to find coaching replacements for Matt Patricia this offseason. But Patricia technically is still a member of the organization ... for now.
Will that be the case when the 2023 season begins?
Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran joined WEEI's "Jones & Mego" show Thursday to discuss what the future holds for Patricia after he interviewed for the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator job but lost out to Vance Joseph.
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"I think he is -- at this juncture, from what I’ve gathered -- kind of untethered. He’s not with the Patriots," Curran said of Patricia. "Robert Kraft, not on the record, but certainly characterized a level of respect for Patricia and Joe Judge as coaches and guys. So, I don’t think they’re persona non grata, but I don’t know if they have an exact role for (Patricia)."
Patricia served as the Patriots' offensive play-caller and offensive line coach in 2022, with disastrous results. Bill Belichick gave more responsibility to assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates early on in the season, but the offense still floundered with Patricia calling plays, while quarterback Mac Jones regressed significantly in Year 2.
The fallout was a rare, formal search for an offensive coordinator in New England that landed on veteran coach Bill O'Brien, who has experience working with both the Patriots and Jones. The team also hired former Patriots draft pick Adrian Klemm as its offensive line coach, leaving all of Patricia's official coaching duties in 2022 accounted for.
Patricia still has the title of "Senior Football Advisor," but Curran believes the only way he's still with the team in 2023 is in an advisory role, similar to the role Ernie Adams had with New England for two decades.
"I think that he would be a little bit radioactive if he were to have any involvement in the offense at all," Currans said of Patricia. "The defense seems kind of set. Does he come back in an Ernie Adams role? I think he’s exploring his options."
The fact that Patricia interviewed for a defensive coordinator role suggests he wants to continue coaching in 2023, so if he's able to land a job elsewhere, that seems like the most likely scenario. If he can't find another job, perhaps he'd transition to a front-office role with New England -- or decide to take a year off.
Either way, it sounds like Patricia won't be on the Patriots' sideline in 2023.