New England Patriots

Mar 16, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and senior advisor Matt Patricia watch during Georgia Pro Day at William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

  • The format and titles of the Patriots’ assistant coaching staff under Bill Belichick has been one of the biggest questions regarding the Patriots this offseason. On Thursday, the team finally gave some clarity on those roles – with two notable exceptions.

    With training camp starting next week, the Patriots announced the official titles for their assistant coaches for the 2022 season. For the most part, the roles are as expected, including expected omissions.

  • Offense

    Senior football advisor Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots stands on the field before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Senior football advisor Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots stands on the field before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Joe Judge: Quarterbacks/Offensive Assistant
    Vinnie Sunseri: Running Backs
    Troy Brown: Wide Receivers
    Ross Douglas: Wide Receivers/NFL Coaching Fellowship
    Nick Caley: Tight Ends
    Matt Patricia: Senior Football Advisor/Offensive Line
    Billy Yates: Assistant Offensive Line
    Evan Rothstein: Offensive Assistant
    Tyler Hughes: Offensive Assistant

    As expected, no coach gets the official offensive coordinator title taking over for Josh McDaniels. This is the first time since 2010 – when McDaniels returned for his second stint – that the team won’t have a labeled OC. The question of offensive play caller will continue into camp.

    The top two contenders for that job, Joe Judge and Matt Patricia, have the roles that were expected prior to the announcement. Judge will be the quarterbacks coach while working with other skill position players, and Patricia will work with the offensive line. Patricia – who was the team’s defensive coordinator from 2012-2017, began his NFL coaching career as an offensive line assistant in 2004 and 2005 with the Patriots.

    With Ivan Fears retiring, Vinnie Sunseri takes over as the running backs coach. He had been the assistant to Fears last year.

    After spending time on the defensive side of the ball last year, Ross Douglas moves over to the wide receiver position to work with Troy Brown. That doesn’t come as a major surprise after Douglas spent a lot of time during the pre-draft process working with wide receiver prospects at pro days.

    The two general assistants also stand out. Evan Rothstein has a research and gameplan background – he was Patricia’s ‘Ernie Adams’ when Patricia was the head coach of the Lions. Hughes has a background working with quarterbacks, and could be the replacement for Bo Hardegree, who was the assistant QB coach in New England in 2021 before leaving to join Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas.

  • Defense

    Aug 29, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo watches the action during the second half against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 29, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo watches the action during the second half against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    DeMarcus Covington: Defensive Line
    Jerod Mayo: Linebackers
    Steve Belichick: Linebackers
    Mike Pellegrino: Cornerbacks
    Brian Belichick: Safeties
    V’Angelo Bentley: Defense/NFL Coaching Fellowship

    Just like on offense, the Patriots did not name an official coordinator on the defensive side of the ball. They haven’t had one since Patricia left after the 2017 season, but this will be the first time since 2010 the Patriots don’t have a coordinator on either side of the ball.

    There aren’t many changes here from last year’s group. One that stands out is Mayo and Steve Belichick had the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ linebacker qualifiers dropped from their titles and are now co-linebacker coaches. With a handful of players on the roster that can play both roles (Josh Uche, Raekwon McMillan, Mack Wilson, Ronnie Perkins are some examples), that could be a sign that there will be more fluidity in the assignments with that position. That would play into the ‘positionless defense‘ theme as well.

    V’Angelo Bentley is the only new addition to the defensive coaching staff. He was a defensive back and played for the Patriots during his career. He was last with Penn State as a graduate assistant.

  • Special teams

    Cam Achord: Special Teams Coordinator
    Joe Houston: Special Teams Assistant
    Troy Brown: Kickoff Returners

    Cam Achord is back for his fifth season with the Patriots, and his third as the teams special teams coordinator. That makes him the only officially titled coordinator on the team.

    This will be Joe Houston’s second year with the Patriots, he was in the same role last year after coming in from Alabama. A former college kicker, he specializes in working with kickers. The Patriots currently have two kickers on their active roster and a third on NFI heading into camp.

    Troy Brown will wear multiple hats and work with the kick returners – something he’s done since officially joining the coaching staff in 2020. This could end up being a key role after the Patriots used a top-100 pick on Marcus Jones, who was one of the top returners in college football the last few years. Jones’ return ability was a key part of his draft stock, and it will be on Brown and the rest of the staff to help round out that part of his game.

  • Strength staff

    Moses Cabrera: Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
    Deron Mayo: Strength and Conditioning Assistant

    This will be Moses Cabrera’s 12th year with the Patriots, and seventh in his current role. He’ll work with Deron Mayo – Jerod’s brother – who has been with the team in his role since 2018.