Cole Popovich, who spent 2020 as the New England Patriots’ co-offensive line coach with Carmen Bricillo, will not coach with the team into 2021, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the reasoning for the departure stems from the COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent guidelines set forth by the NFL.
Popovich, 36, spent six seasons with New England serving a variety of different roles. He joined the team as a coaching assistant in 2015 and was eventually named the assistant running backs coach in 2019. Following legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia’s retirement in 2019, Popovich and Bricillo were elevated into the role as co-offensive line coaches.
Previous stops in Popovich’s coaching career include Los Angeles Valley College, Fresno City College, Utah State University, and Minot State University.
The Patriots offensive line proved to be a major plus in 2020 even though the team struggled as a whole. The unit posted the highest wins above replacement mark in 2020 according to PFF, a significant jump from their 15th place finish in 2019.
The expectation is that Carmen Bricillo, 45, will now coach the unit alone in 2021.