During the first three weeks of the regular season, the New England Patriots have rotated the positioning of assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates on game day.
In Week 1, Yates was up in the booth during the team's loss to Miami. But in Weeks 2 and 3, he coached from the sideline.
Some have thought that the latter arrangement is better, because it allows offensive line coach and play-caller Matt Patricia to focus on calling the game and leaves Yates to work with the offensive line.
This might be true, but for now, the Patriots aren't saying if Yates will be on the sidelines permanently moving forward.
"Billy, he does a great job helping me out in practice,” Patricia said Tuesday, via NESN.com. “I’ve known Billy a long time. … And I think that, on gameday, as things are moving along, he’s been really valuable for us to be down there and talking to the offensive line. As you go in between series, especially as we play teams that have, maybe, some different looks, some different fronts, some different kind of adjustments or pressures or whatever it might be — that availability for him to be able to kind of attack some of that stuff right away if I’m working in a different area during the game, it does help kind of the overall part of it.
“So, we’ll probably just keep that fluid based on game-by-game need, whatever we think is more important. Certainly, eyes in the sky are very important, too, because it’s just a different perspective up there. You can see a lot of different (things). You can see coverage, you can see front, you can see how they kind of work together — the combinations of rotation with pressure, from that aspect of it, too. So, just whatever we think week by week is the best thing to do to help us communicate in between series is critically important.”
The Patriots won in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Yates on the sideline, and the offensive line was a key factor in the victory.
New England lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3 though, falling to 1-2 on the season. They will face the Green Bay Packers in Week 4.