Even after one of their most active offseasons in franchise history, the New England Patriots have plenty of work to do in 2022.
Bill Belichick and Co. enter an offseason of uncertainty following the team's blowout wild-card loss to the Buffalo Bills. There's likely to be turnover on the coaching staff, several key players are becoming free agents or mulling retirement, and there are glaring holes to fill on both sides of the ball.
There's no shortage of question marks, but our Tom E. Curran has some ideas for New England as its offseason gets underway. He shared his 3-point action plan on the latest Patriots Talk Podcast with Phil Perry.
"First step for me, keep tweaking the staff," Curran said. "The Patriots tweaked their personnel group last year in the wake of Nick Caserio's departure. They got four guys collaborating, and you got a good yield in free agency and a good yield in the draft. Now, do it with the coaches.
"Who does what on defense? You have Bill Belichick, who's the greatest mind in defensive coaching history. You have his son, Steve Belichick, who appears to be the playcaller. You have Jerod Mayo, who I'm told does a hell of a lot and runs a lot of the meetings. And then there's Matt Patricia, giving advice, overseeing in some ways, perhaps advising, maybe consulting. Who's in charge over there?
"Meanwhile, on the coaching staff, Ernie Adams, who is a selfless helper of all coaches on all fronts, able to do whatever was necessary, is gone. Who stepped into his shoes to help the coaches? Dante Scarnecchia, gone. Ivan Fears, could be gone. So, there's a lot of light résumés on the Patriots' coaching staff. A lot of guys who have gotten there through connections. A lot of people who came up through the Patriots' system.
"Bill is a forward thinker and he evolves, but the Patriots are a quarantined place, they don't have a lot of outside ideas. So they have to evolve that defense in my estimation and do it in lock step with personnel."
Listen to the full episode to hear the next two steps in Curran's 3-point plan.
Also discussed in this episode: Can Mac Jones make the same leap as Joe Burrow in Year 2? And is franchising J.C. Jackson the right move?