Report: ‘Open belief’ that Bill Belichick could be the Patriots’ offensive play-caller

The Patriots haven't officially named an offensive coordinator following the departure of Josh McDaniels.

Bill Belichick Patriots
Bill Belichick could be calling the shots on offense for the Patriots in 2022. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

Rumors have swirled in the early stages of the offseason about how the Patriots will replace former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

As speculation continues to mount on who will run the Patriots offense in 2022, people around the league think that Bill Belichick could be the one calling the shots, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler.

“The intrigue deepens on the New England Patriots’ approach to offense without a true play-caller,” Graziano and Fowler wrote. “There’s sort of an open belief leaguewide that coach Bill Belichick could call the plays or, at the very least, have more involvement in the offense. He’s involved in everything, to be sure, but he could really dig in here.


“There’s also no major rush, so he doesn’t need to force playcalling duties in early March. Four offensive coaches must be replaced after former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took a Patriots crew with him to Las Vegas.”

The Patriots opting not to hire an official offensive coordinator isn’t unprecedented during Belichick’s tenure. After McDaniels first left in 2009, the Patriots didn’t officially name an offensive coordinator then, either. But Bill O’Brien, who was then the team’s quarterbacks coach, was viewed as the de facto offensive coordinator as he was the offensive play-caller.

It would also mean that the Patriots wouldn’t have a coordinator on either side of the ball. Inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo and outside linebackers coach Stephen Belichick have been viewed as the leaders of the Patriots’ defensive coaching staff, however.

While the Patriots’ offense appears to be going coordinator-less in 2022, they have added coaches to the mix. Former Giants coach Joe Judge, who was the special teams coordinator for five years and a wide receivers coach for a year in New England, was hired back as an offensive assistant. Even though his title is vague, Judge is “expected to work with the quarterbacks,” according to MMQB’s Albert Breer. Matt Patricia, who was once the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, is expected to join the offensive staff to coach the offensive line, according to Breer.


Tight ends coach Nick Caley, wide receivers coach Troy Brown, and running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri appear to be remaining in similar roles that they had in 2021.


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