Notebook of the Patriots: Many hands prepare offensive game plans

Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley is among the coaches who play a role in setting up a game plan for that particular week. Steven Senne/Associated Press

Patriots play caller Matt Patricia has help developing an offensive game plan each week

While Matt Patricia calls the offensive plays Sunday, he’s not solely responsible for crafting the game plan each week.

In the past, some assistants helped former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in different areas. For example, former assistant Chad O’Shea was heavily involved in the red zone offense. And most recently, tight ends coach Nick Caley would handle the third down.


According to Caley, everyone has a role to play in every opponent’s plan on Sunday, including offensive line coach Patricia and coach Bill Belichick.

“Right now we are planning collectively in terms of scouting reports,” Caley said. “I don’t really do third parties, in terms of the scouting report, but we all plan it together in terms of design and games, and stuff like that.”

When asked if he had a specific role in this, Caley again emphasized that it was a group effort with Patricia, and expanded a bit further.

“We work together,” he said. “Honestly, the way we’ve done it collectively here is we’re writing the scouting report as we go week by week, and we’ll present it as a unit collectively, together.”

THE PATRIOTS could have tested punter Jake Bailey’s arm in Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On the tiebreak where Steelers returner Gunner Olzsewski missed a punt — with Brenden Schooler recovering — the Steelers were one man short. They only had 10 players on their punt return squad.

Because of this, Schooler got a free field trip. Instead of throwing, Bailey could have removed the ball and sent it back to the open Schooler.

Speaking to Patriots special teams coordinator Cam Achord, he said they had this game in their back pocket and didn’t necessarily rule out Bailey throwing the ball in this situation in the future.

They just took a Sunday pass.

“There are several different things in this situation,” Achord said during a videoconference. “Obviously if he’s discovered there’s an opportunity to throw the ball to him or there’s an opportunity to punt him and you’ll get a good position on the pitch for sure. Depending on the situation in the game, the elements come into play, but there’s definitely an opportunity for Jake to throw it at him.

“Obviously Jake has a good arm and can throw. So there are situations where that will definitely happen. … It just depends on what we alerted on the sidelines. So there’s a chance you can definitely throw that ball, that’s for sure.

In the end, on Sunday, Olzsewski fumbled the punt, Schooler recovered, leading Damien Harris to score what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the 17-14 victory.

THE BALTIMORE The Ravens are the field goal favorites against New England ahead of their Sunday game at Gillette Stadium, according to Las Vegas Sportsbook.

After a stunning slump in a loss to Miami in Week 2, the Ravens are three-point favorites against the Patriots, who fell to the host Dolphins in Week 1 before bouncing back on Sunday with a narrow road win over the Steelers.

Sunday’s game will be the Patriots’ first home game. New England went 4-5 at Gillette Stadium last season and 5-4 ATS.

The Patriots lead the all-time series 11-4 and have won four of their last five meetings. The Ravens were touchdown favorites in their 2020 game in New England but lost 23-17 in a rainy prime-time game. They are 0-6 in regular season games in New England.

The more than the less for Sunday’s game is 43 points.

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