FOXBOROUGH – The process of determining who's the next Patriots offensive play-caller is still ongoing, according to coach Bill Belichick.
Senior advisor and offensive line coach Matt Patricia appeared to be calling the offensive plays for the entirety of the Patriots' 20-10 preseason win over the Panthers on Friday. Patricia had the headset on, conversed with Belichick, and held a play call sheet the entire time the offense was on the field.
That apparently doesn't mean Patricia is calling the plays, though.
“Communication with the quarterback, yeah,” Belichick said on Patricia's duties in Friday's game. “As far as calling the plays, there's a whole ‘nother process on that, but yeah.”
Patricia's communication with the quarterbacks is certainly of note, considering that he's not the quarterbacks coach. Joe Judge holds that role. Judge also appeared to be the Patriots' offensive play-caller during last week's game against the New York Giants. On Friday, he appeared to take a back seat to Patricia in that regard.
The Patrica-communicated-to-quarterback offense moved the ball well. The Patriots had 375 total yards of offense. It didn't generate many points though, as the Patriots' final seven points of the game came from a defensive touchdown.
Belichick didn't offer much of a grade on Patricia's performance on Friday.
“It was normal,” Belichick said. “It was fine.”
Belichick shared, however, that the process of selecting offensive plays is decided by more than just Patricia, Judge and himself. However, he didn't share who else was involved.
“It's a process,” Belichick quipped with a smile.
It didn't end there for Belichick. A reporter prefaced a question about the Patriots' offensive play-calling by saying that Belichick doesn't want to share much about the offensive play-calling situation, which led Belichick to say “I never said that. I mean, don't put words in my mouth. I never said that.”
Belichick also brushed aside a question on how aware the offensive players are about the situation, saying “I don't know, ask them.”
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, who went 4-of-8 for 61 yards in three drives, seems to be a big fan of the man who communicated with him on Friday.
Mac to Nelly to set up the score.
📺: #CARvsNE live now on @wbzsports pic.twitter.com/96KGsfVfy0
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 19, 2022
“I think Matty's done a great job,” Jones said. “He's one of the most brilliant people I've been around in terms of football knowledge. Between all of the coaches we have, they've done a great job preparing us. He's really starting to get a feel for it. That's the thing – growing each week and making sure we can stack good days together. He's very easy to talk to on the sideline. Very easy, laid-back type of coach but demands a lot. I respect that about him.
“Hopefully, we can grow for a long time.”
The Patriots take their offense, without a lead man, on the road for the first time this season. They head to Las Vegas, where the former lead man of the offense, Josh McDaniels, resides with the Raiders. They'll hold a pair of joint practices before facing off in the preseason finale on Friday.