With only three games and the way some teams refuse to put any major player on the field, preseason football isn’t a good indicator of what a team will look like once games count.
The Patriots have undergone some extensive changes within their coaching staff and personnel, which could make things even more difficult to assess.
New England head coach Bill Belichick said in an interview with WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show on Monday that he can’t rate the team after their three exhibition matchups.
“The offseason is the offseason,” Belichick said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Preseason is about developing your team for the season and evaluating players. If you look at the play time on our games and any other games I don’t know I don’t think Vegas played 30 players I don’t think Carolina it must have been 30 players who didn’t play their game [against us]. That’s not really what preseason is about. Preseason is all about evaluating the players you play with and taking practice time, in joint practices or whatever time you have, to prepare your team for the regular season. Where everyone is in it, we will see after five or six weeks of the regular season. That’s when we’ll know.
“I don’t think preseason games are a great indicator of what the team is or isn’t, one way or another. That’s not about us, it’s about the NFL. But you have a great opportunity to evaluate players and I think that’s going to be the focus this week of the 1,000 or so transactions going on across the league. Is there any way to improve your equipment? Does someone want to upgrade their team from one of your players? And how it all fits together. You can’t have depth everywhere, so you have to choose which positions you want to have depth on the list. What positions do you want to have depth on the practice squad, assuming you can get all the players you want, which you usually can’t. So that causes some other adjustments. That’s what this week is all about: setting up your roster, figuring out how you want to try to play out the season, and then there’s going to be a lot of tweaking along the way. But you have to start somewhere.”
Even after teams whittled down to 53 players on Tuesday, rosters will change around the league for the rest of the week and, for that matter, the rest of the season.
But with all the scheme and coaching changes, the Patriots can be a difficult team to understand during the first weeks of 2022.