Bill Belichick has made if clear the New England Patriots’ offensive play-calling is a process. That process is led by Belichick himself, along with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. But appearing on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show Monday morning, Belichick reminded everyone that when all is said and done, he’s the man in charge.
“Ultimately, I’m responsible for all of it. If you want to ask who’s in charge, then it would be me,” Belichick said. “I have the final say in everything. That’s the way it’s been, and I don’t see that changing.”
While Belichick unsurprisingly has final say, he noted after Friday’s preseason game against Carolina that Matt Patricia was the one communicating with the quarterbacks. Belichick went on to add the actual play-calling is a whole “‘nother process”, something he gave insight into on Monday.
“Whether it’s Nick [Caley], Vinnie [Sunseri], Ross [Douglas], Troy [Brown], Joe [Judge], there are a number of ways to say, ‘Hey, this next situation we could do this, they’re playing us this way’ or ‘Let’s stay away from this or do more of that,’” he said.
“The communication of the offensive and defensive staffs is critical to any process. And ultimately who calls the plays — I’m not minimizing that, I’m not saying that - but there’s a process that goes to it. A lot of times the play-caller makes calls based on the recommendations or the information he’s received from other people on the staff. It’s a collaborative effort.”
Throughout training camp and the preseason, a collaborative effort is what it’s been. Patricia and Judge have split up being the primary communicator to the quarterback in practice, as well as in New England’s preseason opener against the Giants.
Belichick has also been noticeably more hands on with the offense through it all. He’s spent more time with the quarterback on the sideline during the first two preseason matchups than he has in past years, while members of the Panthers reportedly thought the head coach himself was calling the offensive plays in the hurry-up period of joint practices last week.
When the Patriots take the field in Miami to begin the year, all signs continue to point to Patricia as being the de facto offensive coordinator. While Patricia will be the one communicating to starting quarterback Mac Jones, it appears he will have help from Belichick and his staff with actually selecting the plays to call.
Belichick’s comments Monday morning have given the world the first true behind-the-scenes peak at the process, and it truly looks like a collaborative one.