James Develin was not just one of the best fullbacks in football during his playing days, but also a team leader and one of the most respected players in the New England Patriots’ locker room. As such, a move into coaching seemed like a natural next step now that his playing days are over after “unforeseen complications” in his recovery from a season-ending neck injury last September forced him to announce his retirement earlier this week.
Apparently, the same thought has crossed Develin’s mind as well. As the 31-year-old pointed out on Friday during an appearance on WEEI’s Dale & Keefe show, he would “love to support the Patriots organization for as long as possible”:
On @DaleKeefeWEEI, James Develin was asked more about getting into coaching now that he's retired: "I would love to support the Patriots organization for as long as possible. ... If I could continue to work up there at One Patriot Place -- that would be awesome."— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) May 1, 2020
Develin originally arrived in New England back in 2012 and went on to become earn the team’s fullback job the following season. He went on to appear in 83 regular season games as well as 14 playoff contests over the years that followed and helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls. One of the best fullbacks in the NFL, he was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2017 and time and again proved himself as reliable a player as any on New England’s roster.