Bill Belichick has yet to decide who will call offensive plays for the New England Patriots this season, but a favorite is beginning to emerge, according to a report Monday from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Howe reported Belichick is “trending” toward granting play-calling duties to offensive line coach Matt Patricia, who’s back in a Patriots coaching role after serving as a senior advisor last season. Patricia was New England’s defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017 but has no offensive play-calling experience.
Patricia, Belichick and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge all have appeared to call plays during organized team activities. Patricia and Judge both logged head-coaching stints (in Detroit and New York, respectively) before returning for second stints in New England.
As Belichick and his staff ironed out their practice plans each day, the coaches predetermined who would lead each period, according to sources. It had been speculated — with Patricia taking charge of the run-based periods and Judge in control of the pass-based periods — there might be a run-game coordinator and pass-game coordinator this season. However, that hasn’t been the case so far, according to a source.
Belichick has not yet decided who will call the plays during the season, but it’s trending in Patricia’s direction, according to a source. Patricia and Judge are each preparing for the possibility of calling plays, but Patricia’s workload this spring has suggested he’s the early favorite to handle that responsibility.
The Patriots’ offensive coaching staff underwent significant turnover this offseason, with longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels and four other assistants all departing. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne told NESN.com last week that New England is running a “new system” following McDaniels’ exit, but a source told Howe “the system isn’t changing, but the terminology is being simplified” to make it easier for rookies and new players to learn.
New England’s unsettled play-calling setup will be one of the top storylines of the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp, which kicks off Tuesday.