The matter of New England’s offensive play caller has been a storyline throughout the offseason, as the team faced the necessary task of replacing Josh McDaniels. Today’s season opener represented a final window into the team’s regular season plans to handle the role.
As noted by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Matt Patricia is the coach tasked with handling offensive coordinator duties (video link). The longtime Patriots’ defensive coordinator began his time with the team as an offensive assistant in 2004, working with the offensive line the following year. That position group was listed in his new job title this season, along with that of senior football advisor.
The ex-Lions head coach was considered the early favorite to call plays, but he shared those responsibilities with quarterbacks coach Joe Judge during New England’s first preseason contest. Patricia exclusively guided the offense beyond that, however, making today’s new little surprise.
As Rapoport notes, however, head coach Bill Belichick is expected to have a “heavy hand” in the offense as well. That would be in line with the belief expressed by many around the league last month that Belichick will eventually take on the OC role himself. New England enters the season with significant question marks at both tackle spots, and few known commodities in its pass-catching corps as quarterback Mac Jones looks to make a Year 2 jump.
As of this writing, the Patriots trail the Dolphins 17-0 and have totaled 210 yards of offense, so Patricia’s performance will remain under significant scrutiny.