1. No one really knows what the Patriots offense will look like this coming season with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback, but how the Rams have done things the last several years could be a good clue. Why is that? As Andy Hart noted Friday, Jedd Fisch joined the Patriots staff this offseason and is said to be heavily involved in the offense this offseason. Fisch spent the last two seasons with the Rams on Sean McVay’s staff as a senior offensive assistant/assistant offensive coordinator. In addition, Fisch has a great deal of coaching experience at all levels. Prior to the Rams, Fisch was with UCLA and Michigan, so he brings a wealth of knowledge to New England — perhaps some knowledge that Josh McDaniels doesn’t have. McDaniels has worked with Tom Brady for so many years and done things his way, so having someone like Fisch come in could help add some new concepts to the offense such as roll-outs, RPOs and just more plays designed to get the quarterback on the move. Rams QB Jared Goff isn’t Lamar Jackson by any means, but he at least poses a threat to run. Don’t expect Stidham to be like Jackson or even Russell Wilson, but the Patriots offense will certainly have some new concepts that involve getting the quarterback on the move and Fisch will be a major part of that.
2. There’s still some chatter of Brian Hoyer potentially starting the season for the Patriots and not Stidham, which makes absolutely no sense. The Patriots need to see what they have in the second-year quarterback and having him sit to start the season doesn’t really do that, especially when there are road games at Seattle and Kansas City in the first four games. Besides competing for a playoff spot, the second goal of the season is finding out exactly what Stidham is as that will determine where the Patriots go at the position.
3. Brady continues to hold his private workouts with his new Buccaneers teammates in Tampa Bay despite the NFLPA not recommending them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering all that is going on across the country and Florida in particular, this is not a good look for the former Patriots quarterback. It’s even worse that he’s promoting them on social media. Also, it’s worth pointing out Brady seems all-in this offseason with his new teammates when the last two years he couldn’t be bothered to attend OTAs (which are just a few days a week for a few hours) with the rest of his Patriots teammates.
4. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is a massive wild card for the upcoming season. If he’s healthy and connects with Stidham, he could be a valuable piece to the offense, especially with Julian Edelman getting a great deal of attention from opposing defenses. But, it could also go the other way where if he struggles in training camp, it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him released given his $6.5 million cap hit.
5. Speaking of the salary cap, the Patriots have by far the fewest cap space in the league. New England is under $1 million and the next closest team is the Buccaneers who have just over $4 million. There’s no question the Patriots will be making some veteran cuts as training camp nears, some of which may be a bit surprising.
6. Kudos to the Patriots for putting together a special Patriots All-Access Friday night where 21 players, coaches and scouts had a roundtable discussion about racism in America, encounters with police officers and where the country can go from here. The feature can be watched by clicking here.
7. The NFL is committed to starting training camp as scheduled in late July, but things are trending towards the preseason getting cut from four games to two. And then with the MLB, NBA and NHL all gearing up for their returns, the NFL could benefit as it will get to watch what works and what doesn’t work with these sports since it doesn’t start its regular season until September. The league has already said it will have tarps with advertisements on the first few rows of the stands this season.