Nobody outside of the New England Patriots knows what the team’s coaching staff will look like heading into the 2022 season. However, it appears that both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge will play prominent roles moving forward.
Bill Belichick’s media availability during the NFL’s annual meeting in Palm Springs was another reminder of that. While the Patriots’ head coach made no concrete announcements, he mentioned both Patricia and Judge on multiple occasions when asked about New England’s staff.
“Great to have Joe Judge back, and Matt, of course,” Belichick said about the two assistants. “They’re two really good coaches.”
With offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leaving to join the Las Vegas Raiders and taking three other assistant coaches with him, the Patriots have some holes to fill. Judge will be a part of that process, returning to New England as an offensive assistant after his unsuccessful two-year stint as the New York Giants’ head coach.
He has only limited experience on offense — Judge coached the wide receivers in 2019 but worked primarily on special teams during his first stint with the Patriots — but it is obvious Belichick trusts him to serve a full-time role on this side of the ball.
The same is true for Matt Patricia. The Patriots’ former defensive coordinator and ex-Detroit Lions head coach was already brought back last year, officially working as a senior football advisor. Patricia was a member of both New England’s coaching staff and its front office during the 2021 season, and he also projects to have a role on the club’s rebuilt offensive staff moving forward.
On Monday, Belichick acknowledged that the 47-year-old has a broad role within the organization (one that is reminiscent of former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio’s).
“He does a lot of things. Helps me in a lot of ways,” Belichick said about Patricia. “He does a lot of things. He has a lot of experience. He’s done things when he was here and then, of course, he had his experiences in Detroit. And then last year, with things like Covid rules and that type of thing, Matt’s had a lot of different roles for us, and he’s been a big help to me and the organization.”
With McDaniels gone, it appears that Patricia will have a hand in building the offense around second-year quarterback Mac Jones. Like Judge, he has not done a lot of coaching in this area but still offers some expertise.
Patricia served as an offensive assistant in 2004, and as assistant offensive line coach in 2005. Having his assistants move between both sides of the ball is not an issue for Belichick, though.
“We’ve had a lot of coaches take multiple responsibilities,” he said. “Josh and Brian Daboll were on defense and then went to offense, Matt was on offense and went to defense, and so forth and so on. I’m not really worried about that. I think a good coach is a good coach, and Matt’s a great coach, Joe’s a great coach. They’ll help us no matter what position they coach. ...
“Everybody will have a defined role, like they always do. The offseason’s the offseason. Once we get onto the field, coaching the players, and game-planning and things like that, then that will all work itself out.”