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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Bill Belichick answers whether Patriots will change playcaller

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have been a predictable mess offensively for most of the 2022 season, and many are wondering if Bill Belichick will try to address that by having someone other than Matt Patricia call plays. That change sounds unlikely.

During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” Monday morning, Belichick was asked if he has considered stripping Patricia of playcalling duties. He indicated he is not open to switching things up that much this late in the season.

“I think we need to do what we’re doing better. I don’t think at this point making a lot of dramatic changes — it’s too hard to do that,” Belichick said, as transcribed by NESN’s Dakota Randall. “If we can just do consistently what we were doing, I think we’ll be all right. But we just haven’t been able to have enough consistency.”

Belichick added that the Patriots “have to play and coach more consistently,” which is the exact type of vague response the media has come to expect from the 70-year-old coach.

Patricia was the defensive coordinator under Belichick from 2012-2017 before he was hired as head coach of the Detroit Lions. He worked as an offensive assistant early on in his tenure with the Patriots in 2004 and 2005, but his most notable work came when he was coaching defense. After he was fired by the Lions in 2020, Patricia rejoined Belichick’s staff with official titles of senior football advisor and offensive line coach.

Somehow, that turned into Patricia calling offensive plays. He certainly has not been able to fill the void left by Josh McDaniels’ exit. Mac Jones has taken a step back in his second NFL season, and the Patriots rank in the bottom half of the league in almost all major offensive categories.

Jones was openly frustrated with the playcalling during New England’s 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night (video here). The quarterback would almost certainly welcome a new voice, but that may have to wait until the offseason.

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