New England's old defensive coordinator will be calling the offensive plays in Week 1.
Matt Patricia, whose official title with the Patriots is senior football advisor, is expected to be their play-caller on offense against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday on NFL GameDay Morning.
Patricia called offensive plays in practices and in scrimmages, so it's not much of a surprise. Rapoport added that longtime Patriots coach Bill Belichick will have a "heavy hand" on offense, as well.
Sunday marks New England's first game without Josh McDaniels on the offensive staff since 2011; the longtime Patriots OC is now the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Instead of replacing McDaniels with another OC, Belichick left the job vacant. Patricia, who rejoined the organization in 2021 as an advisor and offensive line coach, and Joe Judge, who came back this year as an offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach, were saddled with some of the play-calling duties in camp and the preseason. "We're not really big on titles and all that," Belichick said in July.
Prior to his return to New England from Detroit, Patricia had mostly worked on the defensive side of the ball, ending up as defensive coordinator from 2012-2017. However, he did start out in Foxborough as an assistant offensive line coach. Similarly, Judge worked mostly on special teams during his time with the Patriots before spending two years with the Giants as their head coach. Like Patricia, Judge was flexible across the coaching staff, working with wide receivers in 2019.
The reviews from Patriots camp regarding the offense have not been glowing, to say the least, and there are concerns generally that Mac Jones and his New England attack could take a step back in Year 2, especially with a first-time play-caller at the helm.
Patricia will be the one tasked with proving the August reports wrong and getting the second-year QB off to a hot start in sultry South Beach on Sunday.