Patriots’ veteran captain David Andrews optimistic about offensive coaching changes

FOXBOROW, MA — Brief thoughts and notes on the New England Patriots and the NFL:

1. Andrews accepts NE: In the off-season, significant changes to the Patriots’ offense — with a new coordinator (Bill O’Brien) and O-line coach (Adrian Klemm) and top wide receiver Jacobi Meyers assigned to unrestricted free agency — are the division’s longest tenure player was busy.

Starting center and longtime captain David Andrews, about to enter his ninth season in the NFL, spent one morning last week reading to local elementary school students. The week before, he had been at Boston Children’s Hospital visiting patients. And before that, he was reading in another local class.

He usually trains in the mornings at Gillette Stadium, where he has been joined by fellow captain Matthew Slater, trucker Joe Cardona and left-back Cole Strange of late, and then dedicates his time to the community and at home with his wife Mackenzie. , their 18-month-old son Ford, two dogs and a cat.

Andrews still talks proudly about his Georgia roots — he grew up in Jones Creek and played in 50 games for the University of Georgia — but his daily routine reflects how he officially became a year-round New Englander. He is one of the few players to have made the region his permanent home, something he never imagined when he joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

“I remember the first time Mackenzie came to visit, it was Memorial Day weekend when I was a freshman, when it was 45 degrees and it was raining. The houses are usually nice and everyone is busy with something, but she didn’t even take a jacket. It was a mess and we were like, “What are we getting ourselves into?” Andrews said during a break at one of his social events.

“But when we came back for our second year, we started to settle down more, meet friends outside of the football team. Then in the third year, we said, “Let’s stay for the summer,” and it was like, “Wow, summer here isn’t that bad.” And it’s just like a snowball from there. We sold our house in Georgia and bought here. We enjoyed being here permanently.”

Andrews, 30, grew up to appreciate how a two-hour drive in either direction could take them on many different family adventures across several New England states.

“We try to do it as much as possible,” he said. “We should have gone to Maine [in February]but it was cancelled; it was the weekend it was minus 20 [degrees]. The neighborhood is so new to us; it’s something we never thought we’d do, but here we are 8-9 years later.”

During this time, Andrews also witnessed the evolution of the Patriots from a perennial Super Bowl contender (he won two Lombardi Trophies) to a franchise playing second fiddle to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.

After an 8-9 season in which he looked mentally and physically exhausted towards the end, Andrews said he was more motivated than ever to help bring the franchise back to prominence. He admits he has “definitely matured a bit” in age, but retirement has not been considered and he hopes it won’t happen for a while.

“I still get that feeling in the back of my stomach every Sunday morning when it’s game time. When this feeling goes away, perhaps the time will come. I still think about the game 24/7 and find it hard to turn it off,” he said.

Andrews is optimistic about the future.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Klemm. We’ve had a lot of changes in the O-line room – in terms of coaching, in terms of players, whichever way you look at it – and hopefully that’s something that you’ll come to and it will take hold and you will lay that foundation. with him. ” He said.

“I’m excited to hear how he sees the game and what he can do to help me improve my game and our game as an offensive line and attacking team. Obviously there is no contact right now so when we go to OTA and training camp we will see that.”

2. Absence of Belichick: Coach Bill Belichick didn’t plan to attend this year’s NFL scouting camp, which was different from his usual schedule. The decision is part of a growing trend among NFL coaches, and longtime Belichick confidant Michael Lombardi shared his opinion when he spoke about his GM Shuffle Podcast: “They changed it because of TV; most of the time it was training during the day, you watched the players, and in the evening you had time for interviews. …

“The way they set the timetable [now], scouts will lose a lot of time there. There will be many evenings when you return to the hotel room and you have to take a tape with you. It’s complicated. It flowed better before.

“It’s better to leave the coaches there and do something else. Then send coaches on the road [to scout]. It’s data collection time, let the scouts collect data, and then once you get the data, it will increase… in a pyramid effect.”

3. Patriots on the combine: Patriots cornerback coach Mike Pellegrino helped with field practice at the scouting facility, while wide receivers coach Troy Brown was supposed to do the same. Joe Judge and special teams coaches Cameron Acord and Joe Huston were the other team coaches at Indianapolis, joining college director of scouting Matt Groh and his staff. It was a lighter-than-usual coaching group, which may also be due to the staff who previously trained in the East-West Temple game.

4. Complete the game / defense: Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said something This rings true for the Patriots last week as both move into the offensive coordinator position and with a new O-line coach. “Most of the time we spent on defense and passing,” said McCarthy.

Basically, it has the answers to every problem that exists on the defensive fronts (like when is the best time to secure offensive holds with more help), which was an area of ​​notable regression in New England in 2022. That’s why the combination of O’Brien and Klemm – and Belichick’s belief that they can help make a difference – represents one of the most important moves of the offseason. If that’s what the Patriot coaches are working on instead of attending an NFL scouting camp, then it’s time well spent.

5. Patricia’s Future: Broncos coach Sean Payton admitted that he interviewed Matt Patricia for Vance Joseph’s defensive coordinator job, talking about him and leaving the door open that he could still join the franchise in another capacity. The key question is what Patricia herself wants to do (for example, as a coach, advisor, etc.). He has been a major behind-the-scenes player in New England – for example, in a leading role in developing plans for the team’s permanent facility expansion – and there is still much to be done in that regard.

6. Andrews in Review: Anonymous NFL Players Association Poll Last week, around 1,300 players generated media hype, with the Patriots finishing in 24th place, with at least one player commenting that the facilities needed an update.

Andrews didn’t see the poll when asked about it last week and shared his perspective, saying, “Polls can be skewed, guys can have different perceptions of things. I am grateful to everyone in this building, everything in this building. I never thought I would be in this building for so long, so every day that the key card works, when it turns green, I am very excited.”

Lombardi on the GM Shuffle said, “When I was in the Patriots [as an assistant to Belichick]we got three meals a day and it was great. The room was not very good because it is in the stadium; you don’t have windows. But in terms of delivering to the players, it’s amazing.”

7. Bolden Workout: The Patriots had free agent wide receiver Slade Bolden in training last week, and while there was no contract signing anytime soon, the parties are expected to have an open dialogue as free agency develops. Bolden is one of Mack Jones’ closest friends from their days together in Alabama, and also played one season under O’Brien, the Patriots’ new head coach. The workout could be a hint that the Patriots are changing their mind about what they want in a slot, going back to their old-school roots.

8. Wisdom of the Wise: Patriots captain Dietrich Wise Jr., who last week read to elementary school students at the Patriot Hall of Fame as part of Reading Day across America, said his current favorite book is Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. Wise said it was about “being present in every moment” and that he learned that “a person who knows other people is one thing, but a person who knows himself is the true sign of wisdom.”

9. They said this: “Workout. That’s all I do – running, cycling, lifting weights, sweating. And there is. I like eating.” — Wise is 6ft 5in and 275lbs, vegan, off-season

10. Did you know? The Patriots ended a 10-year streak of top 10-fewest points finishes (2012–21) after finishing 11th last season with 20.4 points. The Patriots and the Buccaneers (1996–2005) are the last two teams to finish in the top 10 for 10 consecutive seasons with the fewest points.


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