He’s earned it.
Belichick’s unparalleled history of championships is what affords him the shield that protects some of his more head-scratching decisions. Even when things don’t go well on his watch, you can still find a good amount of “in Bill, we trust” tweets and posts throughout Patriots Nation.
The latest Belichick decision to get at least some criticism is the Hoodie electing to go without an offensive coordinator after the man who had held down the role from 2006-08 and then again from 2012-21; Josh McDaniels left to join the Las Vegas Raiders as their head coach.
Rather than prying former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien away from good buddy Nick Saban at Alabama, Belichick brought back Joe Judge to assist another former assistant Matt Patricia in running the offense by committee. However, it does appear Patricia will be the play-caller.
There have been a ton of critics questioning the Patriots’ current offensive setup, but Belichick doesn’t sound like someone overly concerned with what his team’s haters have to say. When he was asked about Patricia and Judge and their ability to lead an offense with second-year quarterback Mac Jones, per the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, Belichick said: “I think they’re both good coaches. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility, like it always is. So if it doesn’t go well, blame me.”
The one thing Belichick won’t have to worry about is critics blaming him if it doesn’t work out. The blames will become hot and heavy as Tom Brady continues to get the better of the two legends’ divorce.
Patriots Will Likely Have Matt Patricia Calling Plays
While neither Patricia nor Judge have experience calling plays in the NFL, the former appears to be the one who will draw the assignment–at least at the start of the season.
Belichick downplayed Patricia and Judge’s lack of experience calling plays. He used several Patriots assistants as points of reference for the irrelevancy of this specific experience. Still, the truth is, no one knows how well Patricia or Judge will do with the headset on.
There is a chance that Belichick will take on the play-calling duties himself at some point during the 2022 season. I’d only expect this to happen if the Patriots’ offense is stagnant, and it is costing the team games.
As it is on Sunday, Patricia will get the first crack at replacing McDaniels.
Patriots Most-Likely Playmakers on Offense
The Patriots don’t have a surplus of playmakers on their roster. However, the two players that stand out the most as guys with the potential to excel in 2022 are Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor.
Both Smith and Agholor were disappointing in 2021 after signing lucrative free-agent deals. New England could use a heavy dose of Smith and Agholor’s athleticism, and you can bet Belichick knows there is a bit more explosiveness to unlock between the two players,