Latest on Patriots Offensive Coordinator Duties

About a week and a half ago we wrote the last about this situation with quite surprising names like head coach Bill Belichickformer special teams coordinator joe judgesand former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia be considered for open offensive play calling duties vacated when the former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took over as head coach in Las Vegas. Jeff Howe of The Athletic was able to provide a small update today that shows things are moving in an unlikely direction.

To recap, since leaving New England to be the head coach of the Lions, Patricia has since returned to the role of senior football advisor. Since 2004 and 2005, Patricia was on the offensive side of the ball working with the Patriots offensive line. It is assumed that he will once again work with the big men on offense this season.

Judge, since leaving to be the Giants head coach, has also returned, now in the role of offensive assistant. Although he worked primarily with special teams during his tenure in New England, he added wide receivers to his role in his senior year before heading to New York. League circles believe this year he will work directly with McJones, Bailey Zappeand the other quarterbacks.

Now, Belichick has never officially held call-to-play duties. . To his credit, however, in Belichick’s first head coaching job at Cleveland, he was widely credited for his role in offensive play, although he claimed it was an effort by band.

Howe’s update says things are still a bit up in the air, but are starting to fall into place. Although the three still share duties during OTAs, there has been speculation that due to Patricia handling run-based sessions and the judge handling pass-based sessions, they could end up with the roles of play coordinator and passing play coordinator, respectively.

For now, although no decision has been made, Patricia and Judge are preparing as if they would receive the mission. Early reports say Patricia’s “workload this spring has suggested he’s the early favorite to handle” call-to-play duties.

Another nugget from Howe’s update suggests McDaniels’ departure led to an overhaul of an offensive system that’s been notoriously difficult for free agents and rookies alike to learn. McDaniels was the offensive coordinator for the past ten years in New England and for another three years in the interval before that. The familiarity and memorization associated with this level of continuity can make things difficult for newcomers from the outside. So the trio of call-to-play candidates worked, not necessarily to change the system, but to simplify the terminology to make the learning process easier.