Bill Belichick is calling on an old friend to provide a unique boost to the New England Patriots’ pass rush.
The Patriots are hiring martial arts expert and Taekwondo master Joe Kim as a pass rushing consultant for the 2018 season, The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported Monday morning, citing a league source.
Kim has worked with NFL teams for the past 26 years, his first stint coming under Belichick in 1992 when the then-Cleveland Browns coach hired him as an assistant strength and conditioning coach/pass rush specialist. Kim spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Cleveland as a strength and conditioning assistant before the team parted ways with him this past offseason.
The Ohio native will work alongside Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly to help players “improve their hand-to-hand combat skills,” according to Volin. At least one Patriots player can attest to Kim’s methods, as defensive tackle Danny Shelton worked with the black belt martial artist while with the Browns.
“Got the opportunity to work with @masterjoekim this past year and felt like I really improved from my first year with his help,” Shelton wrote on Instagram in January 2017. “Appreciate your work Master Kim and I know the best is in store for you. #blessed #masterjoekim”
Kim will aim to improve a New England pass rush that tied for seventh in the NFL with 42 sacks last season but whose sack leader, defensive end Trey Flowers, finished 46th in the league with 6 1/2 sacks. The Pats added depth at the position in March by signing defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who could start opposite Flowers — with a few extra martial arts tricks up his sleeve.
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