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The Day – Belichick won’t name offensive play-caller, confirms Patricia’s new role

With Josh McDaniels leaving for a head-coaching job in Las Vegas, Bill Belichick has turned to two former head coaches to replace him.

Welcome back, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.

During a press conference at the NFL’s annual league meetings Monday, Belichick confirmed to reporters Patricia will work on the team’s offensive staff next season. Patricia has “a broad role,” per Belichick, who deflected questions about play-calling and hasn’t named a new offensive coordinator. The Patriots announced Judge’s return in early February with a press release that referred to him as an offensive assistant.

According to reports, Judge will coach the team’s quarterbacks, though Belichick also mentioned himself and Patricia when asked who would work with second-year starter Mac Jones. He also described the coaching staff as “complete,” indicating the team won’t be making any outside hires to fill the vacancies left by McDaniels and three other offensive assistants.

Belichick seemed unconcerned about transitioning Patricia to the offensive side, despite the fact he’s spent most of his career on defense. He joined the organization in 2004 as a coaching assistant, then assisted with the offensive line in 2005 before moving to linebackers coach the following season. Patricia remained on the defensive staff until he left for the Lions’ head-coaching job in 2018.

“I’m not really worried about that,” Belichick said of Patricia’s change. “I think a good coach is a good coach.”

Belichick also noted McDaniels and former Patriots offensive assistant Brian Daboll, now the Giants head coach, both started as defensive coaches. It’s unclear who will succeed McDaniels as a play-caller, with Judge, Patricia, tight ends coach Nick Caley and even Belichick himself all being rumored as potential candidates.

“We won’t be calling any (plays) for a while,” Belichick said before later adding, “(McDaniels)’ll be hard to replace, but I feel like we have really good coaches on our staff.”

As for Judge, of his 17 years experience coaching in the NFL and college ranks, only one has been spent on the offensive side. He worked with the Patriots’ wide receivers in 2019, following 11 seasons as a special teams coach in New England and Alabama. Before joined the coaching ranks, Judge was a backup quarterback at Mississippi State.

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