Last spring and summer, Bill Belichick was actively involved in coaching the New England Patriots’ offense. That’s no longer the case.

While Belichick, as head coach, still is in charge of all facets of the Patriots organization, he’s delegated most of the offensive coaching responsibilities to new coordinator Bill O’Brien, according to a report Monday from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

This hands-off approach is similar to how Belichick operated during Josh McDaniels’ tenure as Patriots OC.

“As for any lingering issues between (quarterback Mac) Jones and Belichick, it was far harder to ascertain whether the needle’s moved much on that relationship at all,” Breer wrote. “There was no come-to-Jesus meeting at the end of the last season on how everything came undone, and my understanding is Jones has spent his time with O’Brien, with Belichick mostly delegating all things offense to his new/old coordinator, in a siloed-off model that feels, to those there, much more like how things were when Josh McDaniels was around a couple of years ago.”

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Jones enjoyed a promising rookie year under McDaniels in 2021, then struggled last season after Belichick controversially handed the reins to New England’s offense to Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. Neither Patricia nor Judge had prior experience in their roles as offensive play-caller and QBs coach, respectively and Belichick removed both after one dysfunctional season, with Patricia leaving the organization and Judge transitioning back to special teams.

O’Brien has called plays and coached quarterbacks since the late 2000s, including a previous stint as New England’s offensive coordinator that ended in 2012. The Patriots’ new offense looked crisp and fluid under his direction last Wednesday in the team’s first open spring practice. Jones said working with O’Brien has been “really good.”

“It’s been normal,” the QB said after practice. “Everything he’s done so far has been really good. I think the communication is the most important part, and trust — I think it all starts with that when you’re with a new coach, and he’s done a great job in controlling the room. I feel like everyone’s on the same page. We’ve just got to continue to do it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We know that, and he’s obviously had great experience in the NFL and at Alabama, where I was at, so there’s a lot of good stuff that we’ve talked about. I’m just looking forward to working with him.”

Breer added that the starting quarterback position is “very clearly Jones’s job to lose,” which was plain to see in last week’s organized team activities. Jones looked like the unquestioned QB1 in that practice over backup Bailey Zappe and third-stringer Trace McSorley, providing some clarity on one of the Patriots’ biggest offseason questions.

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The Patriots are scheduled to practice in front of reporters again on Tuesday.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images