Patriots’ coaching staff is getting a fairly extensive overhaul
The Patriots coaching staff will undergo an overhaul, with five members of the staff leaving for new posts in the days after the team won its sixth Super Bowl title.
It’s a lot of turnover, especially for a Bill Belichick team, but there’s plenty of reason to believe there could be a seamless transition from last season’s staff to the new one.
First off, Belichick’s program is the most established and successful in the NFL, and he has a track record of hiring and developing well-rounded young coaches who grow within the system.
A lot of Belichick’s assistants have followed the head coach’s career path, spending time working in different phases of the game, allowing them to gain varied perspectives. Belichick started his career as a special teams assistant before spending time as an offensive and defensive assistant.
Current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels started in New England as a defensive assistant, while special teams coordinator Joe Judge worked as a linebackers coach in college.
On defense, Greg Schiano will assume coordinator duties, effectively replacing Brian Flores, who coached linebackers and called the plays for the Patriots before taking the Dolphins’ head coaching job.
Safeties coach Steve Belichick is the only remaining defensive assistant from last year’s staff, and it’s possible that his duties could change or increase. He could be on the same trajectory as Flores, who coached safeties before moving to linebackers and eventually on to defensive play-calling.
Defensive line coach Brendan Daly is going to Kansas City, and the Patriots could look within to replace him with Bret Bielema, who spent considerable time with that group last season as a coaching consultant. Joe Kim, another consultant, also worked with the defensive line in 2018.
Finally on defense, the Patriots will need to replace cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer, who followed Flores to Miami.
A name to keep in mind there is Todd Graham, the former Arizona State and Pittsburgh head coach who is a friend of Belichick’s. Graham has a defensive background and Belichick once called him “one of the best coaches in college football.’’
On the offensive side of the ball, New England needs to replace receivers coach Chad O’Shea and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski, both of whom also landed spots on Flores’s staff.
ESPN reported that Mick Lombardi, who served as an assistant quarterbacks coach with the Jets last season and formerly was a scouting assistant and coaching assistant with the Patriots, is expected to fill a spot on New England’s staff.
Lombardi is the son of Mike Lombardi, who worked with Belichick in Cleveland and was recently an assistant to the Patriots coaching staff.
The elder Lombardi formerly served as the general manager of the Browns and Raiders. He is now an analyst for The Ringer and The Athletic.
Cameron Achord, who served as a special teams assistant in 2018, his first season in New England, has an offensive background from his college coaching days.
If the Patriots decide to promote from within, there are five coaching assistants who would be logical candidates to have their duties increased.
Cole Popovich and Mike Pellegrino just completed their fourth seasons in the organization, Brian Belichick has been with the team for three years, DeMarcus Covington has two years in Foxborough under his belt, and Atif Austin just finished his first year.