How Bill Belichick Handled Questions About Patriots Offensive Play-Calling

It went about as you would expect


May 23

FOXBORO, Mass. — Who will be calling offensive plays for the New England Patriots this season?

Monday’s OTAs opener yielded little in the way of a clear answer, as Bill Belichick, Joe Judge and Matt Patricia all shared duties during a no-pads practice outside Gillette Stadium. That all three chipped in certainly is newsworthy, but it gets us no closer to knowing who will communicate plays to Mac Jones when the 2022 campaign begins.

Belichick was asked about the topic a few different ways during a news conference Monday morning. It went about as you’d expect.

Here’s a transcript of Belichick’s remarks:

Reporter: Have those jobs been specified, for Joe and Matt in particular — they told us that Joe’s been working with the quarterbacks and Matt a little bit with the offensive line, but do those guys have titles?

Belichick: Do we have titles? Yeah, look, there’s a lot of jobs that we have to do, we’re all working on those things now but — it’s May. They’ll change in June, they’ll change in August, they’ll change in September. So, we’ll evolve it to the things timely that we need to do. If you’re asking about game plans, we’re months away from that — months.

Reporter: Maybe not game plans, but how about — the one role that we asked those guys about was the play call role. Is that —

Belichick: Months away. Months. What plays are we calling? Minicamp plays?

Belichick: We’re gonna coach the team, coach the players, we’re gonna get them ready to go. We’re gonna game-plan when we have to game-plan, we’ll play-call, do all the things we need to do to compete in games. Right now, we’re months away from that.

Reporter: Is there a point where a guy who would have that role would need the time to prepare? Is that at the start of training camp?

Belichick: Yeah, of course.

Reporter: Do you have that date in mind?

Belichick: No.

Reporter: Do you know who will call offensive plays, or is that a process you’ll let play out over the course of the offseason?

Belichick: Yeah, when we get to it, we’ll get to it.

Reporter: Are we as laypeople, Bill, maybe making too much out of the play-caller stuff? Because from the outside looking in, it seems like the guy who sends in the plays, working kind of in conjunction with the quarterback, knowing what he likes, and getting used to the rhythm of it is important.

Belichick: That’ll all happen.

Reporter: I was watching NFL Network last night and they were talking about quarterbacks and the first 15 plays that Joe Montana would run and the great script — and you were addressing that script, that 15 plays, you could be down 21-nothing with it —

Belichick: Thanks for reminding me about that game.

Reporter: But it’s insight into who’s gonna put together the script — is it a collaboration, is it one guy? That’s why we’re intrigued by it, because you, in the past, have made comments —

Belichick: Yeah, I’m sure every staff’s different. I’m sure on some staffs one person puts it together, I’m sure on other staff’s there’s probably five, six, seven people working on it. I’m sure Bill had the final say on the script for the 49ers, but I think there was a lot of input there, just like there was with Mike and Alex Gibbs in Denver. Howard and Tony, and Peyton and whoever did it at Indianapolis. I wasn’t on those staffs, so I couldn’t really tell you.

Reporter: How do you coach a coach who maybe hasn’t called a play before? How do you simulate that so they can have comfort when it comes time to be the guy who calls the plays?

Belichick: Some of the things we do in training camp.

Reporter: Bill you said you’ve called plays, you haven’t called plays, will you call offensive plays this year?

Belichick: I’ve called them and I haven’t called them. And other people have called them and they haven’t called them. So, we’ll see.

Fair or not, this will remain a storyline until the Patriots officially name an offensive play-caller. And that will be especially if true if Belichick still is helping out with play-calling during practices in June.

Patriots players all said the right things after Monday’s practice, but at least one report indicates there’s some concern inside the locker room about the state of the offensive staff. Additionally, the Dan Orlovskys of the world have punched the panic button over how Belichick is approaching Year 2 of the Mac Jones era.

If you’re interested in more news and observations from Monday’s OTAs section, click the story in the link below.

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