If you’re keeping track at home, Matt Patricia now appears to be the favorite to be New England’s offensive play-caller. As Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes, Patricia was the only coach calling plays from the Patriots sideline during last night’s preseason contest. This is a change from the preseason opener, when Patricia alternated play-calling duties with Joe Judge.
Bill Belichick has continued to play coy on the entire situation, and he even hinted after the game that Patricia was merely communicating with Mac Jones vs. calling plays. Regardless of who ends up calling plays on offense, it’s clear that the organization is going with a committee approach to replace departed offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
“It’s still a process,” Belichick told reporters after the game (via NESN.com). “He (Matt Patricia)… communication with the quarterback? Yeah. But as far as calling the plays, there’s a whole other process on that.
However, if you ask some NFL sources, then it may be neither Patricia nor Judge calling offensive plays for the Patriots in 2022. As Albert Breer of SI.com writes, there are a “lot of smart NFL people who know the Patriots well” and believe it will ultimately be Belichick who ends up calling plays for Jones and the Patriots offense. Breer cautions that the head coach will end up calling plays “at some point this season,” perhaps a hint that the organization may role into the season with one of Patricia/Judge but will be prepared to pull the plug on the experiment.
More notes out of the AFC East…
- A Patriots‘ seventh-round rookie may end up missing the entire season. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, offensive tackle Andrew Stueber doesn’t have a timetable for his return from the NFI list. Stueber suffered an injury while training after the draft, and Reiss hints that the injury could end up delaying the Michigan product’s NFL debut until the 2023 season.
- Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has told league executives that he intends to leave the Dolphins organization to his family, according to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal (on Twitter). While this isn’t a huge surprise, it seems pretty clear that Ross won’t be leaving the franchise to limited partner Bruce Beal. Both Ross and Beal were slapped with suspensions following Miami’s tampering investigation.
- The Dolphins inked left tackle Terron Armstead to a massive deal this offseason. However, the offensive lineman has never been able to make it through an entire season healthy, and that includes a 2021 campaign when he was limited to only eight snaps. If Armstead is forced to miss any time, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald suggests (on Twitter) that the coaching staff could end up moving right tackle Austin Jackson or guard Liam Eichenberg to LT, although the reporter notes that coach Mike McDaniel prefers to keep players at their starting position instead of shifting them around.
- Duane Brown‘s two-year, $22MM deal with the Jets includes a $7.88MM signing bonus and three void years, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). As a result, the offensive tackle’s cap hit for the 2022 season is only $3.69MM. The veteran will earn a base salary of $1.12MM in 2022, but he’ll see that number jump to $9MM.