Patriots Urged to Hire Recently Fired Offensive Guru

Getty Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

The Indianapolis Colts shocked the NFL world on Monday.

They didn’t just fire head coach Frank Reich. The Colts turned around just an hour later and announced hiring former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday as the interim head coach.

Saturday’s lack of coaching experience was the eye-opening detail attached to the flurry of events. If nothing else, Colts fans will get to watch a unique sideline experience as they observe Saturday trying to find his way on Sundays.

The New England Patriots defense might be partially to blame for the start of the Colts’ eventful Monday. On Sunday in Foxborough, the Patriots overwhelmed the Colts 26-3 behind a stingy and opportunistic defense and the consistent leg of kicker Nick Folk.

New England sacked Colts second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger nine times. Jonathon Jones blocked a punt and had a pick-six off Ehlinger to deal the death blow to the Colts and Reich’s tenure as head coach in Indy.

With Reich now without a job, one analyst, Football Outsiders’ Mike Tanier, suggests the Patriots reach out to the recently dismissed coach.

Tanier suggests the Patriots bring Reich in as an offensive consultant with a plan to graduate him to the offensive coordinator role by the season’s end.

The Patriots Hiring Frank Reich Makes Sense, But it is Unlikely

Sunday and Monday weren’t Reich’s finest hours, but the former Buffalo Bills QB has had an excellent run as an offensive mind throughout his coaching career. He served as the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles before landing the head coach job with the Colts in 2018.

The Patriots know about Reich’s brilliance as an offensive coordinator all too well. Reich’s Eagles offense lit the Patriots’ defense up for 41 points in Super Bowl LII. With backup QB Nick Foles at the helm. Reich drew up a game plan that resulted in 374 passing yards, 4 TDs through the air, and another 164 yards on the ground.

The Eagles prevailed in a major Super Bowl upset, 41-33.

Reich has gotten the most out of former No. 2 overall pick Foles, Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck, and Jacoby Brissett. Reich has even coached current Patriots veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. There are some undeniable connections there, but expecting Bill Belichick to make this sort of pivot midseason seems unfathomable.

Belichick loves and trusts acting offensive coordinator Matt Patricia. He’s also been very protective of him despite his failures during the first half of the 2022 season. Snatching the OC duties away from Patricia would humiliate the veteran coach. That doesn’t seem like something Belichick would do–even if it is perhaps the only way to save a New England offense that is wearing out its defense and special teams’ backs from being carried all year.

Around the NFL: Justin Fields Sets An NFL Record

The Chicago Bears and Justin Fields torched the Patriots last month on Monday Night Football, and the second-year quarterback has only gotten better since that breakout game.

On Sunday, Fields set a single-game NFL record for quarterbacks in a 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday when he rushed for 178 yards.

Fields scored a TD on the ground and threw for three more scores. He appears to have moved head and shoulders above every other quarterback taken in the 2021 NFL Draft–including the Patriots’ Mac Jones, who looks like a shell of himself this year.

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