New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's public criticism of the Patriots' offensive play-calling ahead of their upcoming Monday Night Football matchup in Week 14.
“I can’t think of any offensive coach that I have ever talked to that has been in favor of turning the ball over," Belichick said via MassLive.com, after admitting he hadn't heard what Joseph said and received more clarification from a reporter. "So let’s start with that. Every coach who’s involved with offense is always in favor of scoring points. So score points and don’t turn the ball over, I mean, that’s a good place to start. Then there’s a lot of things that come after that. In the end, I mean I doubt if you could tell me what the record of time of possession is this year in the league, right? Like, you wouldn’t be able to tell me like, ‘These teams had X time of possession, they won, they lost.’ That’s not really a — turnovers, points, those are the two at the top of the list.”
Joseph described the New England's passing attack as "very conservative" and said "it's like a defensive guy is calling offense" with longtime former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia now serving as the team's offensive play-caller.
“I see an offense that’s running the ball well. It’s a very conservative pass game," Joseph said on Thursday (December 8) via MassLive.com. "Lots of screens. All kinds of screens. It’s like a defensive guy is calling offense,” Joseph laughed. “It’s how a defensive guy would call offensive plays, right? Let’s not turn the ball over. Let’s get four yards a play and try to burn clock. That’s what they’re doing. That’s what he’s going to do on Monday night."
“He’s going to be patient. Maybe take a shot here from time to time, but for the most part it’s run game, it’s quick game, and it’s screens. So I mean, it’s a defensive guy. That’s what he’s doing. He’s calling the way a defensive guy would call plays.”
The Patriots currently rank 24th among all NFL teams in total offense (318.9 yards per game) and 20th in passing offense (214.0 passing yards per game).
New England is also coming off back-to-back losses to the Minnesota Vikings (33-26) and Buffalo Bills (24-10).