It’s only fitting that a little of everything is part the job description for Troy Brown.
The New England Patriots Hall of Famer, who joined the team’s coaching staff in an unofficial capacity last summer, had worked with the wide receivers and punt returners. He’s official now. But not at those position groups.
Brown is listed as an assistant coach for the running backs and kick returners entering 2020.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained what went into the move on Friday.
“Troy spent the year with us last year, and of course has a tremendous amount of experience here,” Belichick told reporters during his pre-training camp video conference. “He’ll continue to work with other positions, as well – the returners and the slot receivers. But just given the conversations I’ve had with Troy, he’s very eager. He is a very instinctive football player and coach. I think that he was always great with the ball in his hands as a runner – he was obviously a great receiver – and I think that’s a big part of every running back’s job. And he was a strong player in the kicking game, as well.”
Brown, 49, was selected by New England in the eighth round of the 1993 draft. The Marshall product would go on to win three Super Bowls with the organization. His 557 receptions in the regular season rank third on New England’s all-time list. As for his 6,366 receiving yards and 31 receiving touchdowns, those marks stand fifth and 10th, respectively.
But Brown also stands as the most prolific punt returner in franchise history and intercepted three passes as a cornerback.
“It was an opportunity for him to be involved with a little bit of a different group,” added Belichick. “We’ve moved a couple coaches around this year that I think just expanding their – coaching at different positions, coaching different players helps them become better all-around coaches.”
The cross-training will see Cole Popovich work with the offensive line after assisting veteran coach Ivan Fears with New England’s running backs in 2019. It will see Stephen Belichick go from the safeties to the outside linebackers. And former outside linebackers coach DeMarcus Covington will head to the defensive line.
“There’s I think a lot of benefit to that,” said Belichick. “Josh [McDaniels], Matt Patricia – we could go on and on about all the coaches that have switched spots around here. But I think Troy has done a great job with them and he’ll certainly be involved in other things besides that, besides just the running backs.”