AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, Matt Patricia, Joe Judge


  • Dolphins CB Keion Crossen announced on Twitter that he underwent surgery to repair a subluxation in his shoulder after playing through the injury throughout the year. 


  • Regarding the Jets hiring former Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett as their next offensive coordinator, HC Robert Saleh said they didn’t weigh Hackett’s disappointing time in Denver too heavily: “You gotta be able to look past recency bias, you gotta look past whatever you wanna call Denver. But the fact is he got that opportunity because of his life’s work as an offensive coordinator.” (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Saleh preferred an experienced play caller who had a background in a West Coast system and a strong running game. (Rich Cimini)
  • When asked about their plans at quarterback under Hackett, Saleh said that they are “committed” to finding a veteran quarterback. (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • As for whether Hackett’s connections to any quarterbacks played a part in their decision to hire him (aka Aaron Rodgers), Saleh responded that he wanted a coordinator who has a proven ability in developing players and has worked with a “variety” of quarterbacks.  (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Saleh was “shocked” the Titans fired former OL coach Keith Carter and is ecstatic to hire him as New York’s new offensive line coach and run game coordinator. (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Saleh said they still have “a lot of faith” in QB Zach Wilson and must continue developing him: “We still have a lot of faith in him. He does things with his arm that you can’t teach … we just want to make sure we give him every opportunity to grow and develop.” (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Saleh said they would like to hire a senior offensive assistant similar to when Greg Knapp was the Jets’ passing game specialist in 2021. (Zack Rosenblatt)


  • Andrew Callahan and Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald talked to a number of sources about the Patriots’ offense this past season, and the message was things were just as bad behind the scenes, maybe worse, as they looked during games. 
  • One source said Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, who were moved to the offensive side of the ball despite little to no background coaching in that area, were predictably in over their heads: “It was disheveled. They were always scrambling to get things done.”
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick made the decision to move Patricia, who once was his defensive coordinator, and Judge, who was a ST coordinator, to OL coach and QB coach respectively, though they were never given official titles. Patricia ended up becoming the primary offensive play-caller. Belichick’s resume gave him some benefit of the doubt initially but it became clear it was a mistake: “It’s always been about winning and doing what’s best for the team. I really believe (Belichick) when he says that. I just think he really didn’t understand how hard it was going to be.”
  • Per Callahan and Guregian, another source put it more bluntly: “I love coach (Belichick), but he f—ed us.”
  • It appears that Belichick’s plan was to try and simplify the offense that had become expansive in a decade under previous OC Josh McDaniels, while at the same time installing concepts from the McVay/Shanahan system that has been popular around the league. But Callahan and Guregian said some players thought things became too simple, as they were doing half the install work they usually did in camp: “A lot of guys were getting worried because when we were in the middle of camp, we were wondering what the plan was for our offense. Because we hadn’t put enough install in. We had a couple protections, a couple core run plays, but our pass game didn’t have much in it.”
  • Neither Patricia nor Judge had obviously ever run the offense they were trying to implement either, while some of the players had more experience than their coaches in that system. A source told the Herald: “A lot of guys would ask, ‘Well, what’s going to happen if (the defense) does this?’ And you would see they hadn’t really accounted for that yet. And they’d say, ‘We’ll get to that when we get to that.’ That type of attitude got us in trouble.”
  • Patricia was criticized for redoing the protection calls for the offensive line, changing from a numbers-based to words-based system. That contributed to the unit’s struggles during camp and the preseason that caused QB Mac Jones to start to build some bad habits under pressure. 
  • During the season, a frequent criticism of Patricia was that he was too conservative and too simplistic in his offensive designs, with players taking those frustrations public at times. 
  • As for Judge, Callahan and Guregian note he began the year with a major role in the offense, leading not only the quarterback meetings but also team meetings at times. He would coach across multiple positions at practice, which became an issue because other position coaches had to go behind him and correct his teaching points: “I think there were times the coaches were frustrated, especially the ones who had been on staff in years past and knew what we had done.”
  • Other sources said Judge didn’t endear himself to many of the players: “(Judge) would speak extra loudly in meetings, trying to project like he was the guy. And I think that kind of rubbed people the wrong way.”
  • Callahan and Guregian add by October, Judge was being phased out. He became the target of frequent correction by Belichick, and there was conflict between him and Jones in profanity-laced outbursts between the two in practice: “Mac didn’t like him. At all.”

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