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Tuesday Patriots Notebook 10/3: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
October 3, 2023 at 12:38 pm ET

Tuesday Patriots Notebook 10/3: News and Notes(PHOTO: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Oct 03, 2023 12:38
🕑 Read Time: 4 minutes

Some news and notes for this morning:

Law Believes Lack of Talent Remains the Issue

Much of Monday was obviously spent looking back at Sunday’s debacle, with many trying to still make sense of what happened during the Patriots 38-3 beatdown in Dallas.

Former Patriots defensive back Ty Law still believes that the thing hurting Mac Jones and the offense goes beyond Jones.  Law feels the lack of personnel and talent on that side of the football remains the most glaring issue plaguing his former team.

“It’s a lack of talent, in my opinion,” said Law on Tuesday during an appearance on The Greg Hill Show on WEEI.  “I think I heard Jimmy Johnson say, you can take the greatest coach, and if you don’t have talented players, you’re not going to win.  Because Bill ain’t tacking nobody, he can’t run the ball, he can’t throw the ball.  I know he’s not teaching … nobody’s teaching you to throw back across the field.  You do not do that in the NFL.  The DB’s are too good.  Look, I can’t run no more.  You do that s**t on me right now, I’m going to pick that off.”

“What are you doing?  You might get away with it every now and again, Patrick Mahomes, but come on now.”

“So he’s not coaching that.  So that comes down to the players on the field.  But you have to pick the right players.  So I’m not letting Bill or whoever’s making that [personnel decisions] off the hook.  You’ve got to get the right players out there to be able to coach them.  But if you don’t got the talent, I don’t care who you are.  You’re not going to win.”

Obviously, Law makes a valid point.  They don’t have an explosive threat right now or anyone who can help them move the chains consistently.

This topic has been beaten to death, but they’re horribly thin at the receiver position right now from a talent standpoint.  Both DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster have been an issue this season, with the latter being the most glaring.

Parker’s actually gotten the lion’s share of the snaps.  After being inactive in Week 1, he played 100% of the snaps in Week 2, along with 76% (55/72) of the snaps in Week 3 and 82% (42/55) against Dallas.  Despite that, he’s tied with Gesicki for fifth on the team in receptions with 10.

Smith Schuster is second on the team in targets with 21 behind Hunter Henry (23), but he’s fourth in receptions with just 11 for 80 yards.  That’s a 52% reception rate.  He actually saw a drop off in playing time Sunday, seeing just 47% (26/55) of the snaps after playing in 54% (43/80), 59% (44/74), and 74% (53/72) over the first four weeks.

With teams seemingly handling both of those players, they’re clamping down on both Kendrick Bourne and Rhamondre Stevenson, and it’s likely because both Parker and Smith-Schuster haven’t posed much of a threat.

Bourne’s actually come on as of late.  After starting off 10-of-20 targeting him over the first two weeks, he’s caught 6-of-8 over the last two games for 82 yards.

But on third down the last two weeks, it’s been Henry (3/4 42yds – 3 first downs), Demario Douglas (2/4 57yds – 2 first downs) and Smith-Schuster ( 2/5 19yds – 1 first down) who have gotten the lion’s share of the targets in that situation.

The result has been a combined 40% completion rate on third down between Jones (10/22 [45.5%]) and Bailey Zappe (0/3) these last two games.

Something has to give.  Unfortunately, they have who they have, and that means the road ahead will likely continue to be pretty bumpy.

Belichick Backs Jones

Head coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media Monday and one day removed from what happened Sunday sounds like he’s still confident in his quarterback.

Belichick told reporters on Monday that the biggest issue from Sunday remains the turnovers, which he reiterated, just can’t happen.

“Well, I mean, everything gets highlighted by one or two plays, one way or another,” said Belichick.  “In general, I think he makes pretty good decisions. He sees things well, but obviously, as a team, we can’t win turning the ball over three times in a game, two for touchdowns. We’ve got to do a better job of that. That’s everybody’s responsibility. The quarterback’s part of it.  So is everybody else.”

Jones obviously committed three turnovers on Sunday, with the strip sack for a touchdown followed by the pick-six on an ill-advised throw back across the field being daggers that buried the team and made the hole too deep to dig out of.

His final interception led to points and the series after where he narrowly escaped another were enough to end his afternoon, with Zappe finishing out the game.

Belichick was asked if anything would change in practice to give Zappe additional reps, and he said that likely won’t be the case, adding that they’re not yet at that point.

“I doubt anything would change significantly,” said Belichick of their plans for this week. “But, we’ll talk about that. I don’t know. We haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

Whether or not that changes is certainly up to Jones, who will definitely be facing some pressure ahead of this Sunday’s game against the Saints as the Patriots try and get back in the win column.

Judon, Gonzalez Out “Indefinitely”

Monday saw the New England Patriots undergo further evaluations on Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez, who each suffered injuries during Sunday’s game in Dallas.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it sounds like the timetable for both is still uncertain, with Schefter reporting that the two will be out “indefinitely” due to their respective ailments.

Both Judon (torn biceps tendon) and Gonzalez (shoulder) are each reportedly set to undergo additional tests and get second opinions on their injuries, which will obviously see them miss an extended period in the coming weeks.

The Patriots will likely have to hope Jonathan Jones is closer to a return from his ankle injury, as the secondary is now in dire need of reinforcements.  Meanwhile, other players like potentially rookie Keion White or Tre Flowers will be among the names people will have to hope can help fill in while Judon is sidelined.

Either way, it presents two additional challenges that they certainly didn’t need after a tough loss in Dallas on Sunday.

READ NEXT:
TRANSCRIPT: Patriots Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien From His Press Conference 10/3

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


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