Patriots

Report: Matt Patricia is the lead candidate to call offensive plays for Patriots

Though Joe Judge and Matt Patricia appear to be jointly leading the Patriots' offense, ESPN's Mike Reiss suggests Patricia might be the one with the play-call sheet.

Matt Patricia Patriots
New England Patriots offensive coach Matt Patricia. AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes

The mystery surrounding the Patriots’ offensive coaching hierarchy might not officially get clarity for a few more weeks — at least to outside observers.

With Josh McDaniels now coaching the Las Vegas Raiders, the New England offense will have a new voice leading it for the first time in about a decade. Though offensive assistants Joe Judge and Matt Patricia have been speculated to have big roles in replacing McDaniels, no one knows exactly what those roles are or how much Bill Belichick would have his hand on the offensive side of things.

But ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss suggested on “NFL Live” that the rumors about Judge and Patricia taking over the offense aren’t just smoke.

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“If you were on the field and closed your eyes and listened, you would know who the leading presence is for the offense among the coaches: the voices of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge standing above everyone else. They are leading this offense,” Reiss said.

That description of their influence — Judge’s and Patricia’s voices standing out in the crowd — is particularly meaningful because that’s what jumped out about McDaniels. When the offense was on the field, McDaniels vocally commanded the sessions and gave players an earful when things weren’t up to expectation.

At this point, no one can crack either Belichick or his players about who will be calling the offensive plays in Josh McDaniels’s stead. But Reiss suggested the leading candidate will probably be sporting a No. 2 pencil behind his ear: “I’m told, don’t be surprised if it’s Matt Patricia.”

Both Judge and Patricia have been offensive assistants under Belichick before this season. Judge was the wide receivers coach in 2019 in addition to working with special teams while Patricia worked with the offensive line back in 2005.

However, it’s unclear whether either has meaningful experience calling offensive plays in game situations.

As such, it’s fair to question how successful this operation will be under Patricia’s leadership and how much Belichick might need to help pick up the slack.

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One thing’s for certain, though: if the Patriots’ offense doesn’t improve in Mac Jones’s second NFL season, the criticism is going to be loud for Belichick this year.

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