If you had to ask why the Patriots didn’t name coordinators, you don’t know Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick turned 70 this spring, and this week began his 48th NFL season and 23rd as head coach for the New England Patriots.

So maybe he’s just bored. Or just trolling the media again. Or just enjoy some harmless fun while exploiting a loophole or loophole even if there is little profit.

What is known is that Belichick declined to name an offensive or defensive coordinator for the Patriots this year and it appears he will not do so. On Tuesday, at the start of training camp, he only confirmed his job.

“I’m the head coach,” Belichick said. “In the end I am responsible for everything. So leave it at that.”

Ah, this is the NFL. Nobody leaves anything “at there”. Everything must be analyzed and re-analyzed, even nausea. That’s why Belichick’s own brand of humor always plays well, and it’s a welcome sign in the middle of summer that the season is fast approaching.

No OC or DC? naturally.

Belichick isn’t just the head coach in New England either. He’s also the team’s general manager, although it’s not official because the franchise doesn’t list such a job. During the 2020 NFL Quarantine Draft, Belichick’s dog, Nike, sat in front of a computer inside his Nantucket home while watching televised, so perhaps that’s a clue.

Whatever it was, Belichick is already in full Belichick mode, leaving fans and the media wondering what is the purpose of all this?

Someone will call the plays come first week, right?

“We haven’t been in touch with anyone for a while,” Belichick said last week. “I haven’t had any games for a while.”

True of course.

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Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator last year, but he left to become the head coach in Las Vegas.

One of the primary candidates to replace him was Joe Judge, who is listed as an “Offensive Assistant/Quarterback” after returning from a two-year stint as head coach of the New York Giants. Prior to that, he was the coordinator of special teams in New England.

The other is Matt Patricia, listed as “Football Advisor/Offensive Line”. Patricia returned to Foxborough last season after spending three years as a head coach in Detroit. Before that, he was the defensive coordinator of the Patriots – when they had such a thing.

So is Patricia or the judge the offensive coordinator/play caller? It’s probably Patricia, but then again, Belichick wouldn’t say.

“I’ve said many times, I think Matt and Joe are excellent coaches in every sense of the word whatever those duties are,” Belichick said on Tuesday. “They are very good, exceptional in the whole series. I am glad we have both. They are doing a good job.”

But what job would that be?

“We’re not really big on titles and all of that, so I think it’s important that we all work together and make a good end product, so that’s what we’re going to try to do,” Belichick said. “That’s what we’ve always done.”

If you had to ask why Belichick didn’t name an offensive and defensive coordinator when just about every other team at every other level of football—including the Patriots in the past—has an offensive and defensive coordinator, you don’t know much about Belichick.

He didn’t name Bill Belichick as an offensive or defensive coordinator. Maybe there’s a good reason, other than the fact that he’s just Bill Belichick. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

why? Because he can, and because it doesn’t matter anyway.

There are actually two concrete explanations, perhaps the motive. One is that by not having any coordinators, neither Patricia nor the judge (nor anyone else) has to participate in the weekly media sessions of the NFL coordinators.

It is possible that Patricia, who was under contract in Detroit during the 2022 season before being fired in 2020, continues to be paid mostly by the Lions because he is not an official coordinator. So the bats save a few bucks?

This is all indications, of course. In the end, New England will play a game and everyone will try to figure out who is actually speaking in the ear of quarterback Mac Jones. or not.

In the past, there have been questions about whether Belichick has spread himself too thinly, serving primarily as head coach and defensive coordinator – in addition to the general manager. He has always been wary of this suggestion or downplayed his role in calling plays and formations.

As always, no one really knows how, let alone why, things go the way they do in New England. This is how Belichick wants it.

All that matters are the results. The Patriots, at least by Patriots standards, are on a bit of a drought, going 17-16 since Tom Brady left after the 2020 season. As franchisee Robert Kraft noted in the spring, the team last won a playoff three years ago…of course, This was the Super Bowl VI title.

If there’s anything that will change that, it’s the continued development of Jones, who is now in his second year outside of Alabama.

In this regard, Belichick was wasteful.

“Mac has done an amazing job,” Belichick said. “He has worked very hard. He has a tremendous work ethic across the board. I think there is a huge improvement… He did a great job last year but he started from a much higher point this year than he started last year. His off-season work has been great.”

Perhaps it was all the time he spent with the non-existent attack coordinator.

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