The New England Patriots have not announced their coaching staff for the 2022 season yet, and will likely not do so until the start of training camp in July. However, we already know it will look quite different from last year’s, especially on offense: led by coordinator Josh McDaniels, four assistant coaches on that side of the ball left for the Las Vegas Raiders.
In turn, there is plenty of potential for personnel shuffling. Among the names to watch is Ross Douglas, who might move over from the Patriots’ defensive staff.
Douglas arrived in New England last year as part of an NFL Coaching Fellowship; he worked as a de facto coaching assistant on the defensive side of the ball. This year’s pre-draft cycle suggest that he might be working in a different role in 2022: he was spotted helping run wide receiver drills both at Georgia’s and, per NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, Penn State’s pro days.
That alone might not be concrete proof of a change of roles, but it is a noteworthy development for a team in need of a new wide receivers coach, among others.
After all, McDaniels took Patriots wideouts coach Mick Lombardi with him to Las Vegas. Lombardi had worked with the group for the previous two seasons before accepting the Raiders’ offensive coordinator position.
The expectation is that Troy Brown will succeed him — Brown’s coaching responsibility in 2021 was listed as “wide receivers, kick returners” — but it appears working with the position group might also be in Douglas’ future. That would be a first for the 27-year-old, who spent both his playing and coaching careers on defense.
Following his college career as a linebacker/safety hybrid at Michigan (2013-15) and Rutgers (2016-17), Douglas turned to coaching and worked in player development and as a defensive assistant for the Scarlet Knights (2018-19). He later became a graduate assistant on the defensive side of the ball, and worked specifically with Rutgers’ secondary.
Douglas was announced as the new cornerbacks coach at Richmond last year, but was not able to fill that position upon joining the Patriots. While he worked under a fellowship in 2021, it now appears the team has a bigger role in mind for him moving forward.