We knew that Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea would head to Miami as their offensive coordinator, and that assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski would take on the same role in Miami. We could also include former Patriots linebackers coach Patrick Graham being named defensive coordinator, former tight ends coach George Godsey taking the same role, and former Patriots receiver Tiquan Underwood being named quality control coach.
But it appears that cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer will also go to Miami, where he will be the defensive passing game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. That means that New England’s coaching depth on defense just got a whole lot weaker. Boyer absolutely transformed the New England secondary over the past few years and has left some huge shoes to fill.
Earlier this week, I questioned how Boyer would take the appointment of Greg Schiano as defensive coordinator, since Boyer has been with the team since 2006. I guess this is our answer.
This means the Patriots will have to fill multiple roles on their coaching staff, including assistant quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach, linebackers coach, and now cornerbacks coach. Only Brendan Daly (defensive line) and Steve Belichick (safeties) are returning on the defensive side.
DeMarcus Covington is a likely fit as the linebackers coach, where he’s assisted this past season. I could also see Steve Belichick, the current safeties coach, take on a larger role as defensive backs coach, while defensive assistant Mike Pellegrino could step in as assistant defensive backs coach, which is where he’s helped this past season.
Brian Belichick is another option for a promotion, although I could see him remaining an assistant for one more season, simply based on the time it took his older brother Steve to move from coaching assistant to position coach.
On the offensive side of the ball, Atif Austin makes sense as a wide receivers coach, the position he coached for four seasons prior to joining New England, while I would also expect Cole Popovich to be named assistant offensive line coach at some point in time.
Whatever happens with the coaching staff under Schiano on defense, I’m sure the strategy will be fine with Bill Belichick at the helm. The pipeline of talent is ready to step into a larger role. And the logical next step for New England is to replenish its coaching assistant ranks.
Congratulations to Boyer on the new role.