The ongoing search for players for the New England Patriots was no closer to a firm answer after the Patriots’ first preseason game.
Bill Belichick split offensive play-calling duties between Matt Patricia and Joe Judge in Thursday night’s 23-21 loss to the New York Giants. Patricia called plays as Brian Hoyer took center stage for the first two series. Then Judge took over as rookie Bailey Zappe entered the game.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to do that,” said Belichick, who gave both men play opportunities via the team’s official transcript in the preseason opener.
On some level, it feels like Belichick is just messing with the media at this point. While reporters and fans are all screaming to know who will replace Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator and play-caller, Belichick continues to play cat and mouse.
“We’re going through a process. Just like everything else on this team,” he said.
Not knowing Belichick’s plan wouldn’t be so scary if all went smoothly on the offensive line. But given the reported struggles at camp and the fact that neither Patricia nor Judge is a former offense coach, that makes the situation all the more odd.
When asked if he knew who would be naming games after the regular season started, Belichick replied, “Yeah, don’t worry about that. We’ll sort it out.”
Players also don’t worry about who sends in the games.
“I mean, I just listened to my helmet and called the piece I was told, so I’m not worried about whether it’s Matt or Joe or whoever – I’m worried about what defense they’re running how we’re going to perform the play,” Hoyer said.
With Patricia and Judge both calling, the mystery will continue at Foxborough.
Reporters did their best to sniff out Belichick on Thursday night. A taste of the back and forth towards the end of the press conference:
Q: You mentioned earlier that you go through a process with the offensive play caller. What do you have to see?
BB: “I don’t need to see anything, we’re just going through a process. Simple as that.”
Q: It’s just a slightly unusual situation for us that we’ve observed you guys before –
BB: “What should I do?”
Q: I think we’re just looking for a little clarity as to why we’re seeing what we’re seeing.
BB: “Great. Yes.