Matt Patricia, formerly the New England Patriots defensive coordinator, could be the Pats' offensive coordinator this fall.
The club is in search of a new offensive play-caller for the first time in 10 years after Josh McDaniels took the Las Vegas Raiders head coaching job this winter.
Asked about the vacancy in March, Bill Belichick played coy, saying, "I'm not big on titles."
Odd as it may be for a former defensive coordinator to take over as (de facto) offensive coordinator, it becomes less odd when one considers Patricia's competition for the position.
According to reports, the men in the running to replace McDaniels are Patricia, Joe Judge, and Belichick himself.
Judge's expertise, thus far, has lied on special teams. His offensive experience at the NFL or major college level amounts to one year as the Pats' wide receivers coach, in 2019, before landing the New York Giants head coaching job in 2020. He coached special teams from 2008-19.
Belichick's offensive coaching experience amounts to one season (1977) as the Detriot Lions wide receivers coach.
By that standard, Patricia would appear to be a shoe-in. He was an offensive GA at Syracuse from 2001-03, an offensive assistant for the Patriots in 2004, and served as the club's assistant offensive line coach in 2005 before switching over to defense in 2006. He remained on that side of the ball until landing the Detroit Lions head coaching job in 2018.
Patricia returned to New England last year as a senior football advisor.
Jeff Howe reported for The Athletic that Judge and Patricia appeared to split duties during OTAs but, with a 3-day minicamp opening this week, offensive coordinator duties are "trending" toward Patricia.
Howe also reports that Belichick, Judge and Patricia have worked collaboratively to simplify the offense's terminology while leaving the system in place.
Given all three men's level of corporate knowledge, it's no surprise Belichick is keeping offensive coordinator duties in house.
Naming Patricia his offensive coordinator, whether he gets the title or not, would be an acknowledgment by Belichick that coaching football is not rocket science. And Patricia would know, given that he was an actual rocket scientist before he started coaching.