FOXBORO, Mass. — This time a year ago, Joe Judge was glued to Mac Jones and the Patriots offense during spring practices. On Wednesday, he served in a completely different role.

Judge ran special teams drills throughout Wednesday’s organized team activity practice, which was the first open to New England reporters. Cam Achord, the Patriots’ special teams coordinator the last three seasons, also was present, but Judge appeared to be leading the operation.

None of it was surprising. Multiple reports during the offseason indicated Judge would transition from coaching quarterbacks to helping out on special teams, in addition to working as an assistant head coach. And Achord essentially confirmed some of the rumors while speaking with reporters last month.

Matthew Slater, for one, is glad to see Judge back on special teams — his area of expertise.

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“Like riding a bike,” the special teams legend said after practice. “It’s been a seamless transition. He’s going to be a boost for us.”

We still don’t know Judge’s official job title, which probably will be revealed sometime before training camp. And don’t expect Bill Belichick to provide any clues.

Check out this exchange from before practice:

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Question: Bill, can you help us understand what Joe Judge’s role will be with the team this year?

Belichick: “Yeah, he’ll do whatever I ask him to do. It might change from time to time. He’ll be involved in a lot of things.”

Question: Will he have a focus, say in the kicking game?

Belichick: “He’ll be involved in a lot of things.”

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Question: Does he have a title yet? Is he assistant head coach?

Belichick: “We’ll announce our staff. We got a couple things to still work out, but we’ll announce it soon.”

Question: Is his situation, Bill, similar to what you had Michael Lombardi do?

Belichick: “Every situation is different. I mean, Mike never coached.”

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Question: But he did a lot of things for you though, right? He had to do a lot of things.

Belichick: “Joe’s great, Joe’s great. Smart guy, got a lot of experience. He’ll do whatever we need him to do, and he can do a lot, so he will.”

Maybe Judge is the new special teams coordinator. Maybe he isn’t. Maybe he eventually gets listed as assistant head coach but focuses on special teams.

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. He clearly will coach special teams 2023, and that’s a good thing for the Patriots, who were uncharacteristically awful in the kicking game last season.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images