In late March, comments from NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi were relayed about the possibility of the Patriots' offense cleaning itself up.
"I think they have to go back and redefine themselves," Lombardi said on the "BS Report" podcast. "They've become a little bit like the Miami Dolphins when they had Danny Marino and only [Mark] Clayton and [Mark] Duper could play. The volume of offense became so great that no young player or any experienced player could come in and do it. ... They have to clean up the system."
Later, when speaking about the return of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Lombardi added, "I think he'll redefine the offense. I think it will become a little different. It will become a little bit more power, a little bit more back to where they were in, say, '07."
Today, with McDaniels speaking with the New England media as a group for the first time since being named offensive coordinator, the topic was brought up to him.
Here is the Q&A, which sheds light into how McDaniels and coaches approach this time of year:
One line of thinking is that this offense has grown so much since 2000 that it is too much. Any validity to the idea of cleaning it up and streamlining a bit?
“The foundation of our system has really been the same, in terms of our terms and some of the things that we re-teach every year. Really, I think it’s important as coaches to go back to your foundation each spring [and] don’t assume anything. Recall, certainly, with a lot of our players is something that we expect and that we want them to show us and demonstrate. But I think sometimes as coaches, it’s really good for you to go back and get to the nuts and bolts of why it started where it did, and again, progress to wherever it needs to go that year, for that team, to do the best it can. Each year, every team is different. This team, the players we have here, are different than any players I’ve had. Tight ends. Backs are younger. I think you just have to go back, re-teach your foundation, establish what you believe in and your core each year, and then build it from there and allow the personnel to kind of dictate which direction you go.”