Practice offers look at coaching dynamic

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After an offseason in which questions persisted about which coaches would assume offensive coordinator- and defensive coordinator-type duties, Sunday brought possible evidence of who would do so.

At least once during training camp each year, the team’s coaches put their flip cards aside and focus on calling in plays using the offensive and defensive radio communication systems. Sunday morning was that such practice for the Patriots.

Wearing the headset for the defense was linebackers coach Matt Patricia. He had been viewed by many as the most likely candidate to replace former defensive coordinator Dean Pees as the play-caller for the defense. However, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson had also been mentioned as a possible coach to fill that role, while more recently, former wide receiver Troy Brown predicted safeties coach Corwin Brown would become the team’s defensive coordinator.

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien used a handheld radio to call in plays to the team’s quarterbacks. This came as no surprise, as it was generally understood that O’Brien was the one calling the shots on offense last season. Even so, the team has not officially named an offensive coordinator, two seasons after the departure of Josh McDaniels.

This will be one area to continue to monitor as the team heads towards its first preseason matchup with the New Orleans Saints.