While the free agency departure of Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady — and to a lesser degree those of fellow starters such as Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins — took most of the headlines, the New England Patriots’ coaching staff also experienced some considerable turnover since the team’s playoff departure in January: a total of four assistant coaches left the team, with others being brought in and roles getting distributed differently.
New England will have to move forward without long-time offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who announced his retirement, and also needs to replace Joe Judge (special teams/wide receivers), Bret Bielema (defensive line) and Bob Frasier (coaching assistant). While the majority of their replacements was already reported throughout the offseason, the team did not announce the full staff until Monday.
According to Mike Dussault of patriots.com, it looks like this:
Bill Belichick enters his 21st season in New England, and is already the most successful head coach the league has ever seen. His media guide entry lists a total of 24 divisional titles, 17 of which since taking over the Patriots. It lists 12 conference titles, with nine stemming from his time in New England. And on top of it all, it also includes eight Super Bowl wins — six among them as the leader of the most successful organization of the NFL’s salary cap era.
Josh McDaniels: Offensive coordinator
Jedd Fisch: Quarterbacks
Ivan Fears: Running backs
Troy Brown: Running backs/Kick returners
Mick Lombardi: Wide receivers
Nick Caley: Tight ends/Fullbacks
Cole Popovich: Offensive line
Carmen Bricillo: Offensive line
Only one of the coaches on the Patriots’ offensive staff retains his title from last season: running backs coach Ivan Fears. The other seven men have all either been added to the staff altogether or seen a slight adaptation of their responsibilities.
Josh McDaniels is serving solely as offensive coordinator now, with offseason addition Jedd Fisch taking over his old role as New England’s quarterbacks coach — one that will be under a microscope all year following the aforementioned departure of Tom Brady. Troy Brown, meanwhile, was officially added to the staff to assist Fears with the running backs and also train the kick returners. Mick Lombardi moved from quarterbacks assistant to wide receivers coach, while Nick Caley added the fullbacks to his responsibilities.
Replacing the NFL’s premier offensive line coach will fall on two men: Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo, who are entering their fifth and second seasons in the organization, respectively, will be asked to fill the void created by Scarnecchia’s departure.
DeMarcus Covington: Defensive line
Jerod Mayo: Inside linebackers
Steve Belichick: Outside linebackers
Mike Pellegrino: Cornerbacks
Brian Belichick: Safeties
New England’s defensive crew had to adapt to only one reported departure this offseason — Bret Bielema joined Joe Judge’s coaching staff with the New York Giants — but there were still some changes to its makeup. After coaching the outside linebackers last year, DeMarcus Covington is moving to the defensive line to fill Bielema’s old role. Steve Belichick, on the other hand, takes over Covington’s previous gig after having coached the safeties for the last four years as well as the entire secondary in 2019.
Speaking of the secondary: While Mike Pellegrino retains his job as New England’s cornerbacks coach for the second year in a row, Brian Belichick was promoted from coaching assistant to safeties coach — filling the void created when his older brother was moved to the outside linebackers. The inside linebackers, meanwhile, remain in the hands of Jerod Mayo
As can also be seen, New England will go without an official defensive coordinator for the third year in a row. The title was last held by Matt Patricia in 2017, but was not handed out to his de facto replacement, Brian Flores, the following year. In 2019, Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo led the unit as its play callers alongside the Patriots’ head coach.
Also missing from the list is Joe Kim, who worked as the Patriots’ director of skill development in 2019.
Cam Achord: Special teams coordinator
Joe Houston: Special teams assistant
With Joe Judge having left the Patriots to take over as the New York Giants’ next head coach, the Patriots decided to promote his former assistant, Cam Achord, to fill the special teams coordinator role. While Achord is entering his second season in New England, Joe Houston has joined the team during the offseason.
Strength and Conditioning
Moses Cabrera: Head Strength and Conditioning
Deron Mayo: Assistant Strength and Conditioning
There are no changes when it comes to the Patriots’ strength and conditioning staff. Moses Cabrera enters his fifth year at the job while Deron Mayo — brother of inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo — will assist him for the third year in a row.
Tyler Hughes: Offensive Assistant
Vinnie Sunseri: Defensive Assistant
With Brian Bricillo and Brian Belichick taking on bigger roles, and with Bob Fraser leaving New England for Rutgers, the Patriots brought two new assistants on board: Tyler Hughes will work on the offensive side of the ball, former NFL safety and special teamer Vinnie Sunseri on the defensive side.