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Matt Patricia is the primary candidate to call offensive plays for the Patriots


Although 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 call sheet.

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

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The mystery surrounding the Patriots’ offensive coaching hierarchy may not be officially cleared up for a few weeks — at least to outside observers.

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

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

“If you were on the court and closed your eyes and listened, you would know who the main offensive presence among the coaches is: the voices of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge standing above everyone. They lead this attack,” Reiss said.

This depiction of their influence — Judge and Patricia’s voices standing out in the crowd — is especially significant because that’s what jumped out at McDaniels. When the offense was on the pitch, McDaniels would vocally command sessions and give players an ear when things fell short of expectations.

At this point, no one can ask Belichick or his players who will call offensive plays in place of Josh McDaniels. But Reiss suggested the lead contestant would likely wear a No. 2 pencil behind his ear: “I’m told, don’t be surprised if it’s Matt Patricia.”

Judge and Patricia served as offensive assistants under Belichick prior to this season. Judge was the wide receivers coach in 2019 in addition to working with special teams while Patricia worked with the offensive line in 2005.

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

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

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


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