Former Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema’s work with the New England Patriots reportedly didn’t end at the 2018 NFL Draft.
Bielema will assist the Patriots’ coaching staff during rookie minicamp this week, ESPN’s Field Yates reported Thursday.
Bielema, who was fired as Arkansas’ head coach in November, was on the scouting trail for the Patriots this offseason. NESN.com had the original report that Bielema attended the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine as a representative of the Patriots. Bielema was Wisconsin’s head coach prior to his time at Arkansas.
It’s likely Bielema will help on the defensive side of the ball. He began his college coaching career as a linebackers coach before moving up the ranks as a defensive coordinator and head coach. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is expected to take on additional duties this season after Matt Patricia, New England’s former defensive coordinator, was hired as the Detroit Lions head coach.
The Patriots have four players Bielema coached in college on their current roster: defensive ends Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise, running back James White and wide receiver Cody Hollister. Four of the Patriots’ nine 2018 NFL Draft picks played in the SEC, Arkansas’ conference. The Patriots’ also reportedly are signing four undrafted free agents out of the SEC.
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