For the first time since 2011, the New England Patriots will not have Josh McDaniels coordinating their offense this upcoming season. Nor will they have former Patriots assistants like Bill O'Brien, who coordinated the offense the last time McDaniels got a head-coaching opportunity, or longtime position coaches like Chad O'Shea, George Godsey or Dante Scarnecchia. And of course, they no longer have Tom Brady.
Presumably due to that infrastructure drain, head coach Bill Belichick is taking on a larger role in the offense this season, according to second-year quarterback Mac Jones -- up to and including delivering some snaps to Jones himself.
"It was fun for me to get snaps from him," Jones said at a press conference on Thursday. "But we were just talking through something with the running backs and, like you said, he's very hands on. And last year, he was more with the defense and stuff. But now it's like, 'OK, let me show you this.' And he's kind of coaching us and coaching the running backs in that drill on the way that they need to get through the line of scrimmage. So he's very hands on and I feel like we've made a lot of growth together as an offensive unit with him. And obviously personally with him as a quarterbacks group. So we're all on the same page.
"He's seen the most amount of football of any of our coaches. He's seen defense, offense, and special teams so having his input is always going to be very beneficial to me because he knows what puts stress on the defense. And now with him being very hands on, he knows how we can stress the defense and how it's going to play into our hand."
It's been speculated that Matt Patricia or Joe Judge could call offensive plays for the Patriots in 2022, even though neither of them has roots as an offensive coach. (Patricia was a former defensive coordinator and Judge a special teams coordinator, though he did also coach wide receivers for one season.) Perhaps Belichick's increased involvement on that side of the ball is a sign that he could play some role in the game-day calling of plays. The Pats have several experienced defensive assistants alongside Belichick that could handle play-calling duties on that side of the ball, including Jerod Mayo and Belichick's son, Steve. Even though Belichick is a defensive coach himself, with the offense needing more attention, it's certainly possible that he makes a switch.