By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bill Belichick is hiring an expert in a different discipline to improve the Patriots pass rush in 2018. He’s hoping that Cleveland-area Taekwondo instructor Joe Kim can help the Pats defense master the art of sending opposing passers to the mat.
The Patriots have hired Kim, who has spent most of his career as a martial arts instructor, as a “pass rush consultant,” according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. This is not an unprecedented move in the NFL. Kim last worked with the Cleveland Browns in 2016, when he worked with new Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton, and has worked for 10 different organizations since 1992.
This also isn’t the first time that Kim and Belichick have worked together. The Patriots head coach gave Kim his first football job way back in ’92, when he was the head coach of the Browns.
Kim is a black belt Taekwondo master who is recognized as one of the top instructors in the country at the discipline. He is the Grand Master at Kim’s Martial Arts School in Avon, Ohio.
Though Taekwondo is mainly focused on kicking moves, Kim’s pass-rush consulting will focus on “hand-to-hand combat skills” for the Pats’ defensive linemen, pass-rushing linebackers, and even the offensive line. Most good pass-rushing begins with hand work up front, which Belichick is hoping will markedly improve under Kim’s tutelage.
Kim is a bit of a departure from Belichick’s recent hires, mostly geared toward actual football. But the head coach also has a relationship with Kim going back 26 years and is known as one of the league’s great outside-the-box thinkers. With that in mind, adding Kim to the staff really isn’t too much of a surprise.
Belichick appears to realize as much as anyone that the Patriots’ lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks was often a major issue. The freshest example, of course, is when the Eagles’ Nick Foles picked them apart with consistent time to throw in Super Bowl LII.
The hope is that Kim’s guidance can result in the Patriots’ rushers creating more disruption at the line of scrimmage – and that no stone is unturned when it comes to making Tom Brady’s pass protection as strong as possible.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.