Reports out of Patriots training camp offer a glimpse into the rocky road the Patriots offense is traversing as it installs a new scheme.
Descriptors like disjointed, confused, disorganized, frustrated and broken have been used by beat reporters when relaying what the offense has looked like early in camp. The defense has reportedly dominated team drills, with quarterback Mac Jones struggling behind a revamped offensive line.
Penalties, miscommunication and would-be sacks characterized Monday's practice. With the Pats installing some zone-blocking schemes early in camp, the offensive line has particularly struggled as it breaks in a new group on the interior.
Center David Andrews was peppered with questions about the offensive struggles.
"Look, it's just part of it," Andrews said, via the Boston Globe. "It's ups, it's downs, it's training camp. Got to go in, learn from it and see what we can do better. Like I said, can't let today or any day derail anything in the future. That's just how it goes. Wins, losses, you've just got to stay steady. You can't go up and down."
Struggles moving from Josh McDaniels to the Matt Patricia/Joe Judge combination were expected. But at this point, the issues in camp have become alarming.
After practice, Andrews pulled the offense aside for a lengthy huddle. The veteran said training camp issues wouldn't define the season if they have a "steady incline" from here on out.
"It's a little bit of everything," Andrews said. "It's just playing football, you play football in pads. So this is what football is about, being in pads, all aspects of the game, running, draws, screens, pass plays, that's football. So it's all part of it, and we've just got to get better and move forward."
As he has throughout camp, Bill Belichick remained evasive when discussing the offense.
"Every day is a challenge," he said of the struggles, via the team's official transcript. "We just try to build on yesterday and do what we can do today to get better and build on it tomorrow. At different points in time we take stock of where we are and decide whether we add more in this area, or add more in that area, or whatever it happens to be. We try to do things we think are most important and most necessary that will help us win. That's just kind of what we do. You can get everything in and not execute it very well, or you can get in less and hopefully do it better. That's usually the way it works, or there's somewhere in between. I'd say usually, we fall somewhere in between: don't get in everything we want, but feel like the things that we can do, at least we're doing it at a competitive level. Not saying it's great, but at least we can go out there and do it. So, we'll see."
There is plenty of time left in camp and preseason for the Patriots' offense to coalesce, but the alarming start is cause for concern with the new installs in Foxborough.
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