The New England Patriots suffered some high-profile departures over the course of the offseason so far, both on and off the field: assistant coaches Joe Judge (special teams/wide receivers), Dante Scarnecchia (offensive line) and Bret Bielema (defensive line) all left the organization since January and will need to be replaced for the 2020 campaign. Nothing is official just yet, but it seems as if the team’s staff has already taken some shape.
Judge’s former role as the Patriots’ wide receivers coach is apparently being filled by Mick Lombardi, at least if draft prospect Aaron Parker is to be believed: the Rhode Island pass catcher recently told Yanni Kourakis of WPRI that he had a video interview with “the wide receiver coach” and later added that it was Lombardi. The 31-year-old worked as New England’s assistant quarterbacks coach last year, but it seems he is now changing roles.
Lombardi moving to coach the wide receivers creates a trickle-down effect on the rest of the coaching staff.
Former Patriots wideout Troy Brown, for example, assisted Judge in 2019 but never held an official position with the club. It seems likely that he will remain with the staff in some yet to be announced capacity, though, considering that he was an active member of the team’s contingent at the scouting combine in Indianapolis in late February. Lombardi and Brown working alongside each other to coach the wide receivers this year would make sense.
Lombardi’s old position, meanwhile, will reportedly go to Jedd Fisch: according to Sports Illustrated’ Albert Breer, the offseason hire will assist offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels and thus play a critical role in the development of second-year passer Jarrett Stidham and any potential draft additions. Fisch has considerable experience working with young quarterbacks and was trusted to develop first-round pick Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, as well as UCLA’s Josh Rosen and the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff.
The other vacant spots on New England’s coaching staff, on the other hand, remain unaccounted for at the moment. That said, there are front-runners: Judge’s former role as the team’s special teams coach will likely go to his assistant Cam Achord — a move pretty much confirmed by Matthew Slater last month — while second-year coaching assistant Carmen Bricillo appears to be the logical heir to Scarnecchia’s position.