Who will call the shots on offense after the departure of long-time coordinator Josh McDaniels is of the biggest mysteries currently surrounding the New England Patriots. The team’s mandatory minicamp, which took place at Gillette Stadium between Tuesday and Wednesday, did not offer any clear answers or indications.
While head coach Bill Belichick was less actively involved with the unit compared to the previous organized team activities open to the media, neither Matt Patricia nor Joe Judge appeared to definitively take on the lead role. Instead, they took turns calling plays for the unit.
Its most important player, meanwhile, does not seem to be worried too much about the Patriots’ lack of an offensive coordinator at this point in time.
In fact, speaking with reporters on Thursday, quarterback Mac Jones expressed confidence in New England’s new-look offensive staff and where the unit as a whole is headed.
“I think we have a great group of coaches that obviously have a lot of experience, not only on offense but defense, special teams, all that,” Jones said. “ They’ve seen a lot of football.”
Patricia and Judge have never run an offense before, but it is obvious Belichick thinks highly of their abilities as coaches — so much so that he trusted them with developing the most important player on the franchise has under contract. Whether or not they are up to the task will be seen, but the early signs are promising: Jones put on a show during minicamp.
Nonetheless, the sophomore quarterback pointed out that building the offense remains a work in progress. That is especially true in one area: communication.
“The most important thing is just getting on the same page, speaking the same lingo between the players, the coaches. We’ve done a good job with that,” Jones said. “It’s obviously a learning experience, and we’re trying to grow together and move in the right direction.
“I definitely think we’ve made pretty good strides there in the past couple of weeks. You can’t be done with OTAs and let that fall off, you have to carry that through the season. That’s the most important part. We understand that for training camp. We just have to get better every day, and keep communicating and keep talking.”
The 15th overall selection in last year’s draft, Jones started all 18 of the Patriots’ games in 2021. He went 376-for-559 as a passer for 4,033 yards, 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while leading New England back to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
Heading into his second year in the system, he is a prime candidate to take the famous Year 2 jump. Needless to say the Patriots as a whole would be a much better team if he did.