Bill Belichick Praises Bill O’Brien and Mac Jones from Patriots Training Camp

The Patriots legend appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Matthew Fanizza
July 31, 2023

As the New England Patriots kick off their training camp, head coach Bill Belichick joined SiriusXM NFL Radio. Belichick, who’s entering his 24th season as Patriots head coach, shared his thoughts on their offensive and defensive strategies, the return of former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, and the growth of quarterback Mac Jones.

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Discussing the team’s offense, Belichick emphasized the significance of focusing on fundamentals during training camp rather than complex plays. He recognized the addition of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, a respected play-caller, and underscored the need for the team to execute basic fundamentals effectively. “Bill is smart, has a real passion for football, and I think has a combination of offensive skill and toughness,” said Belichick. “So his teams are always.. tough, hard-nosed, which not all offenses have, especially ones that revolve around a quarterback type of coach and offensive coordinator. It brings that combination of toughness and skill, and explosiveness to a system.”

On the offense, Belichick also acknowledged the lack of exposure to the running game and run defense in the past due to a concentrated focus on the passing game. However, he emphasized that training camp would provide ample opportunities for evaluation and improvement. “It’s not really about plays, it’s just about being able to execute basic fundamentals,” Belichick said. “That’ll be a big challenge for us throughout the training camp, to get into that high execution and techniques phase that just comes from practice reps and working both individually and with our teammates.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Belichick highlighted the performance of Josh Uche, who emerged as a formidable force last season, registering 11.5 sacks. Despite not being the most massive player, Josh’s speed, elusiveness, and improved technique make him a challenging matchup for bigger tackles. Belichick praised Josh’s intelligence and adaptability in attacking different tackles strategically. “Josh is fast. He’s quick, he’s very elusive,” Belichick said. “He’s a tough matchup for some of the bigger tackles, in terms of his movement, and he’s really improved his fundamentals and his technique, his pad levels, leverage, use of his hands, and footwork. It’s really got a lot better. He’s worked very hard at it.”

The interview then focused on the Patriots’ quarterbacks, specifically Mac Jones. Belichick praised Jones’s work ethic and commitment, earning him recognition as an offseason award winner. While acknowledging that real challenges lay ahead once the season commenced, Belichick expressed confidence in Jones’s ability to efficiently run the offense and lead the team effectively. Belichick stated, “Mac had a good offseason. He’s one of our offseason award winners, first and last out of the building, really does a good job of being on top of everything that we’re doing, so he can lead from the quarterback position in terms of play-calling and those type of things.”

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