With former coordinator Josh McDaniels and several other assistant coaches now in Las Vegas, the New England Patriots’ offensive staff is in a state of transition. Although little has been announced by the team or its members, it appears that both Matt Patricia and Joe Judge will play sizable roles in this process.
Both are among the most experienced coaches on New England’s staff, but neither has a lot of experience on offense; Patricia spent most his time with the Patriots on the defensive side of the ball, with Judge originally joining the club to coach special teams. Nonetheless, they will work with the offensive personnel in 2022 — something both confirmed during their first media availability of the offseason on Monday.
Patricia, the Patriots’ long-time defensive coordinator and former head coach of the Detroit Lions, will be working with the offensive line.
“I’ve been with the offensive players, specifically spending time with the guys up front,” he said. “I came here a long time ago, and I came in as an offensive line coach.”
When he joined the Patriots in 2004, Patricia initially served as offensive assistant and assistant offensive line coach. He transitioned to the defensive side of the ball in 2006, however, and spent the next 12 years there before departing for Detroit.
In the aftermath of former O-line coach Carmen Bricillo’s departure, however, it seems that he will now be coaching the unit together with Billy Yates. Yates, of course, served as Bricillo’s assistant last year.
Joe Judge, meanwhile, returned earlier this offseason after a two-year intermezzo as New York Giants head coach. Like Patricia, Judge has a bit of experience on offense — he coached wide receivers in 2019 — but will now play a more prominent role.
Per himself, he is working with second-year quarterback Mac Jones and the skill position players (i.e. wide receiver, running back, tight end).
“I am working with Mac, as well as some other people on the offense. I’m working with all the skill group on the offense,” Judge said on Monday. “I would say all of us are working collectively as a coaching unit to work with the entire offense. So that’s the most direct and specific answer I can give you on that, guys. In terms of who’s coaching each position, you’ll see me on the field with the quarterbacks.”
Judge’s role is a critical one. Mac Jones, after all, was drafted in the first round last year and the team will count on him to make a noticeable second-year jump and further establish himself as the long-term solution at the most important position on the field.
Jones did look good in 2021 under McDaniels and fellow departee Bo Hardegree, and the team is very high on him, but the circumstances did change quite a bit since his rookie campaign. Now, his development is in the hands of long-time special teams coordinator Joe Judge.
As far as the offensive coordinator role is concerned, none of the coaches made available on Monday gave any insight.
“Nothing has been declared or decided or voiced to me,” Judge said. “I know Matt’s going to be the other one who gets asked, or Nick Caley. Right now we’re all just working drills and skills. We’re working offensively. I do think it’s critical for every coach on the offense to understand the offense and be prepared as a play caller. If you’re not really looking and approaching the game as a play caller, I think it’s tough to really teach the game plan. ...
“In terms of who calls plays, to be honest with you, that’s not the main focus of us right now as an offensive staff. When Coach wants us to go ahead and declare a role like that, he’ll tell us.”