Patriots coach Bill Belichick is aware that plenty of people disagree with his decision not to hire an offensive coordinator this season, and instead hand over the typical offensive coordinator duties to Joe Judge and Matt Patricia, neither of whom has ever been an offensive play caller before.
But Belichick doesn’t much care.
Belichick shrugged off any talk that Judge and Patricia aren’t up to the task, and said that hiring them was his decision and the buck stops with the head coach.
“I think they’re both good coaches,” Belichick told the Boston Globe. “Ultimately, it’s my responsibility, like it always is. So if it doesn’t go well, blame me.”
Belichick said he has hired other inexperienced coaches and had success with them.
“I don’t see it any differently than it was in the last 22 years,” Belichick said. “Look at our other offensive coordinators. We had Charlie [Weis]. Then Josh. He’d never called offensive plays. Billy O’Brien [who succeeded McDaniels] never called plays in the NFL. Josh came back. We’ve changed coaches in every area, multiple times. Defensively, Matt Patricia had never called plays. Then he won a couple of Super Bowls. Brian Flores [who succeeded Patricia] had never called plays. That worked out all right. Steve [Belichick] has been calling defenses. We were pretty high up there statistically last year. We didn’t play well obviously in the Buffalo game and a couple of other games, but I wouldn’t say we had a bad year defensively. At least not statistically. We have plenty of coaches that didn’t have previous experience and it’s worked out pretty well with most of them, but not all of them.”
Belichick said media scrutiny of the Patriots’ offense doesn’t concern him.
“That’s their opinion,” Belichick said. “I’m not going to argue with them. I don’t follow it. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. There’s a lot of complimentary things said. When things aren’t complimentary, I don’t really worry about those too much one way or the other. There’s way more publication and air time and blogs and everything else than there is actual news. So there’s a lot of opinions and a lot of stuff out there. I don’t know how newsworthy it is. It’s the world we live in.”
If the Patriots’ offense falters, Patricia and Judge will get plenty of blame. Belichick will too, and he’s fine with that.