FOXBORO, MA – Details of former New York Giants coach Joe Judge’s role as assistant offensive line for the New England Patriots became clearer on Monday, telling reporters that he’s working with Mac Jones and midfielders.
It’s a key position on Bill Belichick’s staff, given Jones’ promise and the departure of longtime innovative offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to become the Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach.
Meanwhile, former Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia – who spent the 2021 season as senior advisor to Belichick in New England – said he is working with the offensive line.
Belichick had previously identified Judge and Patricia as head coaches in attack, but had not publicly specified their roles, or whether they would replace McDaniels as in-play on match day.
The judge was asked if he would call plays in 2022 and said, “Look, I’m going to tell you directly and frankly at the moment, nothing has been announced, decided upon, or expressed to me. … frankly with you, that’s not the main focus at the time.” Current. When the coach wants to go ahead and announce a role like that, he will tell us.”
The Patriots are currently in the second phase of their voluntary off-season program, with coaches working with players on individual and full training sessions. Journalists did not have access to the practice, but the judge and Patricia explained their responsibilities.
“In terms of who coaches each position, you’ll see me on the field with my quarterbacks,” said Judge, who was 10 to 23 in his tenure as the Giants’ head coach from 2020 to 2021.
“I work with Mac, along with every skill set in attack. I would say we are all working collectively as a training unit with the whole offense. So this is the most direct and specific answer I can give you on that. … It has been the focus. The main thing for us as a coaching staff is, we want to make sure that we can train all the players and that no one there lacks knowledge in attack.”
The judge said he watched months of tape on Jones before the 2021 draft, and then Jones also made an impression on him when his Giants trained with the Patriots in season 21.
“There are a lot of things that I liked – the accuracy, being in the pocket, making the decision, things like that. I like the way he handled and the order of the team and the team when we trained on it; that is something that really stood out for me.”
Patricia, who was 13-29-1 in his tenure as the Lions coach from 2018-2020, described his new role as a return to his roots in college and the NFL. When he was appointed as the Patriots coach in 2004, one of his first jobs was in the offensive line, before turning to defense in 2006 and staying there for 12 years.
“I’ve been working with the offensive line, which is great for me,” he said. “It was fun going back to that.”
It was Patricia’s first meeting since he joined the Patriots over a year ago, and he was asked what he had learned about himself from his tenure in the Lions.
“Detroit was a huge opportunity for me, and I appreciate it very much [Martha Firestone Ford] and organization. I believe that every year you participate in football, learn and grow. For me, being a head coach in Detroit allowed me to come up with different points of view, different perspectives, or different ideas to talk about with coach Belichick.”
“And in many ways it was great to come back and you just have to focus on a single job, not multiple jobs. That part of it was good.”