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Josh McDaniels' Patriots transition hasn't been smooth

Josh McDaniels coached Tom Brady during the best regular season of Brady's career. McDaniels came up in the New England Patriots' system, just like his predecessor, Bill O'Brien.

That's why so many of us assumed McDaniels' transition back to being the Patriots' offensive coordinator this season would be seamless. It hasn't worked out that way.

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New England's offensive line has struggled with myriad injuries. The team has dramatically gone away from a shotgun-heavy, spread-style offense early in the season in favor of more plays with Tom Brady under center. Wes Welker has lost snaps to Julian Edelman. There have been more power formations. Brady hasn't quite looked like himself yet.

"Brady just seems uncomfortable with the entire offense right now -- calls, personnel, everything," Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe wrote of the Patriots' 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. "Of the 12 quarterback pressures (four sacks, six hurries, two knockdowns), three could be attributed to Brady (1.5 sacks, 1.5 hurries). It was one of those jittery games we see every now and again in which he feels pressure that isn't there."

The offense will improve. There are too many weapons for it not to, but these issues date to August.

In the meantime, McDaniels is taking a little heat in the local papers. The Boston Herald points out McDaniels imported Greg Salas and Michael Hoomanawanui from the St. Louis Rams. Salas was just released to bring back Deion Branch, and Hoomanawanui has struggled.

The Patriots are making a lot of changes, which include Brandon Lloyd as a big part of the offense.

"It would be hard to imagine that most teams are playing at their peak at this point, and I think we're all trying to work to get better in a lot of different areas: coaching, playing, the way we practice and prepare," McDaniels said. "I think it's just a normal process that every team goes through each year."

We tend to agree. The improvements New England has made on defense should help make up for the difference. Just don't be surprised if the high-flying offense you are used to from the Patriots doesn't show up Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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