NFL Rumors: Matt Patricia to call plays in Patriots-Dolphins with Bill Belichick influence

·2 min read

Report: Here's how Patriots will call offensive plays vs. Dolphins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Will Bill Belichick's latest bold experiment pay dividends?

Belichick declined to name an offensive coordinator for the 2022 New England Patriots after Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Offensive line coach/"Senior Football Advisor" Matt Patricia was seen calling offensive plays during the preseason, although quarterbacks coach Joe Judge briefly called plays during New England's preseason opener.

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So, what's the Patriots' plan for games that count? NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Patricia indeed will call plays Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, but that Belichick will have a "heavy influence" on offense.

Patricia calling plays isn't a surprise, as our Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry have suggested that'd be the case this season. But it will be notable if Belichick has significant involvement with the offense at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

While play-calling on both sides of the ball has always been a collaborative effort in New England, Belichick could afford to be more hands-off with McDaniels, who was one of the NFL's best offensive coordinators and helped Mac Jones become the league's top rookie quarterback in 2021. Patricia has never called plays in an NFL game, however, so Belichick may need to pay much closer attention to the offensive operation with Patricia also balancing his duties as offensive line coach.

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The Patriots' starting offense looked ineffective for much of the preseason, so Sunday will be a big test for Patricia, whose only coordinator experience is on defense. Then again, McDaniels started out as a defensive assistant with New England in the early 2000s, so there's precedent for Patricia developing into a capable play-caller.

There might be growing pains, however -- which it appears Belichick will try to mitigate throughout the season.