FOXBORO, Mass. — Want answers to the New England Patriots’ play-caller question? You won’t get them from Bill Belichick.
After offensive line coach Matt Patricia and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge both called offensive plays in Thursday night’s preseason-opening 23-21 loss to the New York Giants, Belichick was asked whether he’s decided which of the two will handle those important duties once the regular season begins.
Here’s a transcript of the head coach’s exchange with reporters, as transcribed by the team:
Q: We saw both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge taking turns on play call duty tonight on the offense. Is that the plan moving forward, having them switch back and forth, and do you plan on naming a single guy or going with both?
Belichick: “Yeah, well, we did this game. We did a lot of things in this game that are going to be beneficial in the long run, whether it was on the coaching staff, playing time, players that played and so forth. That’s all part of the process.”
Q: Bill, what were some of the benefits of having Joe and Matt call plays tonight?
Belichick: “I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to do that.”
Q: Do you know if one will call plays when the regular season arrives?
Belichick: “Yeah, don’t worry about that. We’ll work it out.”
Q: Have you decided?
Belichick: “We’re going through a process. Just like everything else on this team.”
Belichick faced a similar line of questioning later in his postgame news conference. That yielded no additional insight, with Belichick cutting off three consecutive questions on the matter.
Q: You mentioned earlier with the offensive play caller you’re going through a process. What do you need to see ?
BB: “I don’t need to see anything, just we’re going through a process. Simple as that.”
Q: It’s just a little bit of an unusual situation for us that have watched you guys before ?
BB: “What do you want me to do?”
Q: I guess we’re just looking for a little clarity as to why we’re seeing what we’re seeing.
BB: “Great. Yeah. Going through a process.”
Patricia, who’s called plays in most 11-on-11 drills during training camp, did so for the first two series Thursday night, while Brian Hoyer was in at quarterback. When rookie Bailey Zappe replaced Hoyer on the third offensive possession, Judge took over for Patricia and handled play-calling responsibilities for the rest of the game.
Top QB Mac Jones and most of New England’s other starters did not play against the Giants.
With exactly one month to go until the Patriots’ regular-season opener, we still do not know whose voice Jones will hear in his helmet when he takes the field against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11. Neither Patricia nor Judge has prior offensive play-calling experience.
NESN.com’s coverage of New England Patriots preseason is presented by Cross Insurance, protecting your team since 1954.