The concept of Joe Judge calling the Patriots’ offensive plays never made much sense. Which is why a report from The Athletic does.
The former Giants coach is not on track to be New England’s de facto offensive coordinator, according to national reporter Jeff Howe. Instead, Bill Belichick is expected to hand those duties to the other failed head coach on staff, ex-Lions coach Matt Patricia.
From The Athletic:
Belichick has not yet decided who will call the plays during the season, but it’s trending in Patricia’s direction, according to a source. Patricia and Judge are each preparing for the possibility of calling plays, but Patricia’s workload this spring has suggested he’s the early favorite to handle that responsibility.
There has been much hand-wringing about the Patriots’ plans to replace Josh McDaniels, who became the Raiders’ head coach earlier this year. And for good reason, because Belichick is offering no details while managing to out-Belichick himself by all accounts.
Judge and Patricia have coached on offense in the past, but they got their head coaching jobs due to the work as the Patriots’ special teams and defensive coordinators, respectively. Judge — listed as an offensive assistant — has been working with quarterback Mac Jones during the offseason program. That led many to assume he’d be the guy. But Patricia, who has the title of “senior football advisor,” has also been working with the offense. And there is always the possibility that Belichick could decide to call the plays himself, given that he’s the greatest coach in NFL history and all that.
It’s very on brand for the Patriots, which is to say it’s secretive and weird. And likely relatively pointless on the whole. If you think about it, all the various Patriots scandals — real and imagined — were relatively inconsequential when scrutinized objectively. Tapes of hand signals, slightly-deflated footballs, rulebook loopholes, transactional gymnastics — it’s all stuff that gave the Patriots maybe a 5% competitive edge, if that. The Astros cheated. Belichick is about chicanery. Which is what this offensive coordinator shell game is.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]