Damien Harris rips Belichick, Patricia for failed Patriots offense

Damien Harris rips Belichick, Patricia for failed Patriots offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Former New England Patriots running back Damien Harris went on a near 15-minute rant Thursday, opening up to Robert Mays on “The Athletic Football Show” about what it was really like to be led by head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinators Matt Patricia and Joe Judge for the 2022 season.

Harris, who announced his NFL retirement in March, joins a short list of players willing to talk about the negative side of playing for Belichick and speak on just how bad things really were.

Harris began by openly admitting he wasn’t surprised his former head coach couldn’t land a job after mutually agreeing to step away from New England. Despite repeating how much he loved playing for Belichick, one thing Harris was not a fan of was Belichick’s power complex.

Signing with the Buffalo Bills after his departure from New England was Harris’ eye-opener, describing the new experience as feeling like he was on “a different planet.” Harris felt that he was now able to speak up and address issues or concerns he had — something he couldn’t do in New England.

“If anybody had anything to say about it,” Harris said of bringing complaints up to Belichick, “it was [met with] a very, very quick, swift, ‘Shut the [expletive] up. I know what I’m doing,’ and that’s it.’”

Harris’ complaints were mainly focused on the 2022 offense led by Matt Patricia and Joe Judge — two people he did not find to be qualified to be making calls on the offensive side of the field. Harris said that he felt like the two coaches were just pulling plays from Madden, adding that the two had no understanding of how to build a playbook.

“I remember OTAs, minicamp, sitting around talking amongst each other being like, ‘Yo, how are we going to tell Bill that this s— ain’t working?’” Harris said. “… I think that it was very obvious for a long time.”

“We knew before our first game, we knew during training camp [that the offense would fail],” Harris added, noting that his teammates felt the same way and that team leaders would try and hold team meetings to address those concerns, but no coach would listen.

As for their first-round quarterback who was coming off of a Pro Bowl rookie season, Harris believed that the setup of coaches ruined Mac Jones, which led to players openly mocking the coaches around the facility.

Both Harris and the Patriots have both started new chapters in their respective journeys — Harris is enjoying his retirement with his newborn child and the Patriots look to turn a new leaf post-Belichick under new head coach Jerod Mayo.

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