“I said, ‘Yup, that’s a defensive guy.’ He’s not too in tune with that.”
After a lackluster season where Mac Jones and many facets of the Patriots’ offense regressed, it came as no surprise that many players and staffers were frustrated with Matt Patricia’s tenure as offensive play-caller.
But according to Malcolm Butler, that frustration was a two-way street between Patricia and his personnel on the field.
Speaking to MassLive’s Mark Daniels, the former Patriots cornerback noted that Patricia was less than pleased by the play of his receiving corps during the early days of training camp.
“Matt [Patricia] is a motivator. I could see his frustration,” Butler told Daniels. “We were doing conditioning tests and all the defensive players were up front and some offensive players were up front, but your wide receivers, people who play a big role in the offense weren’t showing grind and grit and showing like they want it.
“I’m pretty sure he was frustrated with that. I said, ‘Yup, that’s a defensive guy.’ He’s not too in tune with that. He’s like, ‘Come on, get the (expletive) up there. What are you doing? Come on.’”
Still, even if New England’s wideouts were lacking in terms of “grind and grit”, Butler echoed the sentiments shared by many others when it came to the poor schemes and game plans orchestrated by Patricia and his staff.
“The offense wasn’t just as crispy as it once was,” Butler said of New England’s offensive woes. “Like, it was a lot of in-cuts, speed routes, but when I returned last year, it was just so predictable. The plays were so predictable. It was like they always tried to go deep downfield. It was just so predictable. They’d get in trips, I know what they’re going to run. Or shotgun, they’re not [running]. It’s pass first.”
Butler’s comments were not the first time this week the 32-year-old corner offered his thoughts on Patricia and his rocky tenure as the leader of New England’s offense.
During a radio appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show on Thursday, Butler admitted he was skeptical when Patricia first took the reins of the Patriots’ offense.
“Yeah, I was shocked,” Butler said. “I was kinda shocked that he was doing offense. Matty [Patricia] is a defensive guy. He’s a defensive guy. Not saying offensive guys are soft, but he likes tough guys, and tough guys play defense.”
"I was shocked."
Malcolm Butler talks Matt Patricia calling the Patriots offense, and his impressions of Mac Jones #ForeverNE pic.twitter.com/6JLOIyagKZ
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) February 9, 2023
Butler returned to New England last offseason, only to get placed on injured reserve after suffering a hip injury during preseason action. He was eventually released by the Patriots with an injury settlement.