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Patriots players disrespect the coaching staff?

Whether premeditated or impulsive, the players came up with their own plan – a blatant lack of respect for the coaching staff. Since when did the Patriots go off script and do things not instructed by Belichick and the coaches? Certainly not in the glory days.

And it seems to be happening a lot this season, with most of the disrespect aimed at Patricia and, by extension, Belichick, who signed Patricia and makes all the decisions regarding the Patriots.

Players criticized the play-call several times as being too simple. Jones was caught on camera several times barking at Patricia or waving at him. And the players went rogue on the final play in a loss to the Raiders, with disastrous effects.

When a team is 7-7 and disappearing from the playoffs, it’s understandable to see a little finger-pointing and blame shifting. But if the players really believe in Patricia and her coaches, they are still the coaches and they should still be on the lookout for showing more respect in public.

“It’s a team game and it always will be,” center David Andrews said Wednesday. “I think the minute you start trying to blame somebody, not looking at yourself, saying, ‘What can I do better?’ That’s a bad place to be as a human.”

There have been several surprising and unusual displays of disrespect from the Patriots in recent weeks toward coaches.

After the victory over the Colts, players told reporters in the locker room that Colts defenders were calling Patriots plays before the snap. In the locker room after the Bills’ loss, receiver Kendrick Bourne, who has had surprisingly little production this year, said, “We need to plan better … They call it this, and we call it that, and it fits right in with what they want. So against the Raiders, Stevenson and Meyers charted their own game.

Surprisingly, much of the disrespect came from the starting quarterback. In the loss to the Bills, cameras caught Jones yelling, “Play the [expletive] ball! Quick play sucks!” It’s unclear who the target of his rant was, but it sure sounded like it was directed at Patricia.

In the win over the Cardinals, cameras showed Jones again yelling and waving dismissively at Patricia as she headed toward the huddle. And in the loss to the Raiders, Jones was apoplectic as the Patriots struggled to make the right plays near the goal line. The Patriots failed to punch the ball from 2 or closer in three consecutive plays.

Fox analyst Jonathan Vilma, a former NFL linebacker for 10 years with the Jets and Saints, questioned Jones during the broadcast.

“I’m all for Mac Jones’ passion and emotion, but what I would like to see is someone a little more Steady Eddy at halfback,” said Vilma. “Defensively you can be all fired up, you can do whatever you want, but offensively you need that execution, that QB calm and poise. Drew Brees, he was the same guy every time, and that’s what they need from Mac Jones at that halfback point.”

Jones, who was nicknamed “McEnroe” by his college coach Nick Saban because of his penchant for emotional outbursts, said on Wednesday he would not change his style.

“I think that’s a big part of the game, playing with passion and emotion,” Jones said. “This is who I am and always have been.”

Certainly, football is an emotional game, and the occasional outburst is accepted and sometimes even celebrated (think Tom Brady getting sacked on the sideline). There’s even an NFL Films clip of Belichick from his “A Football Life” telling his team to play with emotion.

Jones said it needs to be triggered on the field.

“It shows you care,” he said. “I think we have guys who care on our team. I definitely care. So this is important to me. I will show emotion and be passionate about this game because I love this game and I know my teammates respect that in me.”

It’s possible that Jones has a great relationship with Patricia and the coaches behind the scenes. But he should be a little more aware of how his outbursts look to the rest of us on the outside. Looks like a 24 year old showing off his trainers and acting like he has all the answers.

Patricia may not be the right choice as an offensive coordinator, but he is still a talented NFL coach and Jones’ boss, and deserves respect. It doesn’t help anyone—not the Patriots, nor Jones’ sympathy with fans—that Jones and the players show public displeasure with the bosses.

“You want to show positivity as well. When we do things well, I try to do that,” Jones said. “I want to just be a great teammate, whatever that is, and be a leader as well.”

If he means no disrespect to Patricia, then Jones should be more careful with his actions. And if he intends to disrespect his coach, then Jones and the Patriots have some big issues they need to work out this offseason.


Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com.

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