Patriots Camp

Why Matt Light thinks Patriots offensive line will be OK

The three-time Super Bowl champion is confident the o-line will figure it out.

NBC Universal, Inc.

By all accounts, the New England Patriots offense looks much better in training camp this year compared to this time in 2022.

Even the defense has taken notice. Veteran safety Adrian Phillips said Tuesday that starting quarterback Mac Jones is a "way better" player than last year. The wide receiver group has impressed, especially in the second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The addition of Ezekiel Elliott has given the running back corps strong depth.

The only semi-major concern is the offensive line.

In this group's defense, injuries have prevented it from being fully intact. Michael Onwenu still hasn't practiced as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. Trent Brown was a limited participant early in camp. Conor McDermott missed the Packers matchup due to injury.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Devin McCourty talks Christian Gonzalez potential; why he sees a BIG year for Kendrick BourneListen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The o-line hasn't performed well in the first two preseason games. There isn't a lot of time to fix the problems, either. Week 1 is less than three weeks away, and the Philadelphia Eagles front seven is quite formidable.

Former Patriots left tackle Matt Light isn't too concerned about the offensive line, though. He explained why during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub show "Zolak & Bertrand" on Wednesday.

"It's like everything else. What do you have to base it on? One preseason game so far where you've seen guys at the starter position go through a couple series or more and dial it up, but it's not real," Light explained, as seen in the video above. "And it's not like you can go to practice and see what they're doing. So we're all in the dark.

"But I will say this: A healthy David Andrews, which they have, is a huge bonus. I think they're going to figure out the guard positions, and I think you have a little more leeway with the interior guys than you do with the exterior guys.

"The question mark is, is Sidy Sow going to be at right tackle? Is Trent Brown going to be healthy at left tackle? And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you can nurse along and coach up a guy at right tackle a lot better than left. If Trent is out there and Sow is serviceable at right tackle, I think they're going to be OK because of the offensive scheme now. I think Bill O'Brien is going throw them some bones and make it a little easier for an offensive line to grow and succeed early in the season."

The Patriots brought in Adrian Klemm during the offseason as their new offensive line coach. This position group has had a couple different coaches since legendary o-line coach Dante Scarnecchia retired in 2020. Light thinks that Klemm, who played under Scarnecchia for four seasons in New England, will bring some of those elements back to this unit.

"You do get that Scar effect because Klemm was in that system. I think he's a pretty good coach from what I've heard and I know he's a great guy, so I think he will be an upgrade," Light said. "I think Bill O'Brien coming back is the biggest upgrade that's going to make everyone on that offensive line and the entire offense a heck of a lot better going into this season."

The Patriots offense has the potential to show significant improvement in 2023. But if the offensive line can't block consistently, it's not going to matter. Therefore, you could make a strong case that the offensive line is the most important position group on the roster entering the regular season.

Contact Us