After losing four offensive coaching assistants over the last few weeks, the Patriots are reportedly beginning the process of putting their staff back together. Roles are being assigned as the team gets ready to head into the player personnel portion of the offseason.
In his weekly MMQB column, SI’s Albert Breer touched on new areas of focus for Joe Judge and Matt Patricia. Both have been at the center of speculation around the team’s re-worked coaching staff, having held coordinator-level positions under Bill Belichick in the past – although neither on the offensive side of the ball.
According to Breer, Judge is “expected to work with the quarterbacks” although he doesn’t go as far as calling him a defined quarterbacks coach. Josh McDaniels and Bo Hardegree split the QB coach job last season. That duo is now in Las Vegas with the Raiders.
Judge first joined the Patriots as a special teams assistant in 2012, and was promoted to coordinator in 2015. His lone experience coaching offense came in 2019, when he had ‘wide receivers coach’ added to his title along with special teams coordinator. He was hired as the head coach of the New York Giants in 2020, but was fired last month and returned to New England in what was defined at the time as an ‘offensive assistant’ role.
Patricia is “expected” to work with the offensive line, although again Breer stops short of naming a title. Last year’s offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo followed McDaniels to Las Vegas. His assistant, former NFL guard Billy Yates, remains with the team and has been viewed as a potential replacement for the official role.
Unlike Judge, Patricia does have prior experience with his new position. His first jobs with the Patriots in 2004 and 2005 involved coaching the offensive line in an assistant role before he moved to defense in 2006. Patricia was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator from 2012-2017 before a three-year stint as the head coach of the Detroit Lions. He returned to New England last season as a ‘senior football advisor.’
Breer didn’t say whether Judge or Patricia would take over the offensive play-calling duties, another question that needs to be addressed following McDaniels’ departure. However, he did mention two experienced NFL play callers who have been linked to the Patriots may not be in the picture at this point, writing “for what it’s worth, I’ve heard the Patriots haven’t so much as talked to Adam Gase about their OC opening, and things have been quiet on the Bill O’Brien front as well.” Judge and last year’s tight ends coach Nick Caley, who remains with the team, have been suggested as internal candidates to fill the de facto OC role.
There’s still work for the Patriots to do in terms of their offensive coaching staff. Here’s a full rundown of the coaches they’ve lost and are expected to lose from last year’s group…
Patriots may need to replace over half of offensive coaching staff
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