New England Patriots

Perry: Are Patriots Players Getting the Offensive Coaching They Need?

Perry: Are Patriots players getting the offensive coaching they need? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

FOXBORO -- There has been and will continue to be a great deal of scrutiny paid to the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball in New England. According to Football Outsiders, this is looking like the least-efficient attack the team has had in almost 30 years.

But when players were asked following their 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night whether or not they feel they're getting enough from their coaching staff, they said they were.

"Yeah," Kendrick Bourne said. "Like I said, I think it's more players. It's a balance. Coaches can only do so much. We gotta make the plays, we gotta get open, we gotta get Mac [Jones] time.

"It's a whole balance. It's not just coaches. It's everyone. It's just frustrating, bro. It's like, makes you, as players, we all want to contribute, we all want to make plays, we all want to do good. It's just hard when there's no rhythm or nothing like that."

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"You know, yeah," Hunter Henry said. "I think we come to work every single day and continue to keep grinding and working together. They're great to work with. I mean, they listen to us. We listen. It's kind of a back-and-forth thing. I think that's something we'll all have to do this next week."

Situationally, the Patriots offense has been abysmal. They came into the game 25th in the NFL in third-down conversions and went 3-for-12 against the Bills. They entered Thursday 31st in red-zone efficiency and went 0-for-1 inside the 20 against Buffalo.

Do drastic changes need to take place schematically, Henry was asked?

"It's not drastic," Henry said. "We just gotta be cleaner, across the board. Protect better. Everybody has to kind of look themselves in the mirror, I think. I am going to this weekend, for sure. Just need to be better down this home stretch. I don't know if there's a magic thing you can put on it, but we'll look at it and try to do the best we can."

Jones was asked during his press conference what he believed was holding the offense back, and he gave a lengthy response.

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"I think it's accountability," he said. "It starts with me. I think I want to be coached harder. I want to be a better player. The coaches have given us everything they've got. They've done everything to put us in position to win. But I want to hold everybody accountable, including myself. 

"I think it's tough, right? You get called out a little bit, you have to admit that you didn't do your job. That's part of the game. A lot of that blame falls on me. I didn't do my best tonight. I think a lot of other guys played with a lot of good effort. We played with effort. I played with effort. I'm going to give it everything I've got every week, no matter what. I'll go until the wheels fall off. But got to be better executing plays. 

"They're putting us in a good position. We just got to go out there and do it together. That starts in practice, ‘Hey, I didn't do this right, call me out for it, tell me that I'm wrong.’ If you're a good leader, you can accept that. You can look at the other guy and say the same thing to him that he says to you. The best players in the world at any sport, they have that accountability with their teammates. 

"That's something that we need to have that's better. Obviously, the coaches are a big part of it, but it really starts with the players. Clearly, I haven't done a good enough job of doing my part in that."

It's the nature of Jones' position that observers will look his way as the offense he leads struggles. But the nature of the coaching setup in New England -- where the offense is coached by two relatively inexperienced offensive coaches in Matt Patricia and Joe Judge -- will undoubtedly continue to draw plenty of attention as well.

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