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Patriots assistant coach Bret Bielema reportedly ‘in the mix’ to join Joe Judge’s Giants staff as defensive coordinator

Related: Giants to make Patriots assistant Joe Judge their new head coach

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With soon-to-be-former New England Patriots wide receivers/special teams coach Joe Judge finalizing a deal to become the next head coach of the New York Giants, the focus shifts towards his staff. From the Patriots’ perspective, this means one thing in particular: will Judge take any assistants with him to New York, and if yes, how many? And it appears that at least one of them is indeed a realistic candidate to join him with the Giants.

According to ESPN New York’s Jordan Ranaan, Patriots defensive line coach Bret Bielema is expected to be “in the mix” to become the Giants’ next defensive coordinator — an obvious upgrade from his current role with the Patriots. Whether or not he eventually leaves New England remains to be seen, but today’s report of a potential departure is the first of its kind since Bielema joined the organization as a consultant to head coach Bill Belichick in 2018.

After serving in this role for one season, Bielema took over as the Patriots’ D-line coach in 2019 following the departure of Brendan Daly. Under his leadership, New England’s line played a key role in helping the defense become the best in the NFL. This in combination with his experience at the college level — he served as head coach at Wisconsin and Arkansas for 12 combined years — certainly makes Bielema an intriguing candidate.

In case the 49-year-old does decide to leave the Patriots for the Giants, New England would have multiple replacement candidates ranging from outside linebackers coach DeMarcus Covington to coaching assistants Brian Belichick and Bob Fraser.