New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Sep 8, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions assistant special teams coordinator Marquice Williams against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For two decades under Bill Belichick, special teams were a major strong point for the New England Patriots. That trend slipped in recent years though. Over the last two years the Patriots struggled significantly in the kicking game, ranking 32nd in special teams DVOA in 2022 then 28th in the same number last year.

With those performances, the Patriots’ special teams coaching staff of Cam Achord and Joe Judge (who moved to coaching special teams in 2023 after working on the offensive staff in 2022) has come under scrutiny. Now it looks like, as Jerod Mayo take over as head coach, a change could be coming at the top of the Patriots’ special teams units.


READ MORE:

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While Achord and Judge are still listed on the Patriots’ website under the coaching staff, a report on Monday afternoon suggests they may soon be on their way out. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have requested permission to interview Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams for their special teams coordinator job.

Williams has been the Falcons’ special teams coordinator since 2021. While taking the Patriots’ special teams coordinator job would be a lateral move for Williams on paper, with a new coaching staff set to take over in Atlanta it’s possible he’s taking this interview to get ahead of things on the chance he isn’t retained by the new head coach (as is often the case).

In 2023, the Falcons’ special teams ranked 27th in DVOA. The year prior though they ranked in the top five in the NFL, in a season that saw them score two special teams touchdowns.

  • Prior to joining the Falcons Williams was the assistant special teams coordinator for the Detroit Lions, where he worked under former Patriots assistant Matt Patricia. Williams has also spent time with the Chargers and Bears after beginning his coaching career at the college level.

    If the Patriots are interviewing special teams coordinator candidates, that is a strong sign Mayo won’t be retaining Judge or Achord, at least in their current roles. At the same time, both are strong candidates to follow Belichick to his next stop.

    It certainly seems like Mayo is wasting to time putting his staff together. Williams is his second reported interview of the day, joining potential defensive coordinator candidate Tem Lukabu.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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