New England Patriots Offensive Struggles Continue in Joint Practice with Las Vegas Raiders

After a promising first year that saw him lead all rookies in passing yards and touchdowns, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has his work cut out for him. The Boston Herald's Andrew Callahan declared today's practice against the Las Vegas Raiders was "the most troublesome offensive practice of summer."

Phil Perry of NBCS Boston shared similar concerns:
Reports of alarming play have dogged the Patriots since early this summer, and the Raiders should not be considered an insurmountable test; they sported last year's 26th-ranked scoring defense. Today's practice feeds concerns that the Patriots offseason strategy is sabotaging their young quarterback.
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The Patriots raised alarm bells by refusing to name a replacement when long-time offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels departed for a head coaching opportunity with the Las Vegas Raiders. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge have competed all offseason for the chance to call plays, neither inspiring confidence. Judge after all is coming off a disastrous stint with the New York Giants that saw his offenses rank 31st in points scored, and Patricia has never called an offense at the professional level, primarily coaching defense since 2006.

The Patriots have a history of leaving open vacancies on their coaching staff, particularly at offensive coordinator. McDaniels called plays at quarterback coach in 2005 before officially becoming offensive coordinator in 2006, and Bill O'Brien served as play caller for years before earning the offensive coordinator title in 2011. But those teams had Tom Brady. Entering their young passer's second year, the Patriots risk stymieing Mac Jones's progress by denying him a proven presence to nurture and develop him. If the team intends to bounce back from a disastrous first-round playoff exit, they'll need Jones to improve. Routinely making things hard on Brady forged him into the GOAT. It may not work for everyone else.

Photo Credit: © Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports